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Small Ground Cone

Small Ground Cone, Vancouver Island, BC
Small Ground Cone, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Robert Logan

Small Ground Cone plants look just like pine cones, and that is why 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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