Small Ground Cone

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Wildflowers, Plants and Ferns, Pacific Northwest

Small Ground Cone, BC Coastal Region
Small Ground Cone, Photo By Robert Logan

Small Ground Cone plants looks just like pine cones, and that is why the it is called a ground cone.

It is common on the BC coast, l have seen them growing out on rocky coastal bluffs, in coniferous forests and in alder groves. They can be from yellow to purple in color.

Lacking chlorophyll, it cannot synthesize carbohydrates for itself so the plant is entirely parasitic, getting its nutrition from other living plants, preferring alders and the salal plant but also feeds on other types of plants.

The flowering cone that emerges from the ground in summer has numerous small flowers and when mature, it produces huge numbers of tiny seeds.

The tiny flowers are accessible to small insects, which are sometimes seen to visit, but it is not known if they are pollinators.

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