Pholisma sonorae is a rare parasitic plant that grows in the Sonoran, Mojave, Colorado and Yuma deserts, where it lives inside sand dunes.
It lacks chlorophyll and gets nutrients by attaching to the roots of desert shrubs and plants. It gets water through the grayish scale-like leaves which cover its underground stem. Above ground, it looks kinda mushroom-like, and blooms with small violet flowers on bulbous caps.
Interestingly, this oddball is part of the forget-me-not family of plants!
@InvaderXan Some kinda desert sand coral.
Seems like it would be at home on Tattooine...
@InvaderXan I've recently re-watch David Attenborough's "The Private Life of Plants" and it was packed with fascinating plants such as this.
I re-watched that series pretty recently myself. Plants, especially rare and unusual ones, are a long time fascination of mine!
@InvaderXan I would have never guessed that it was part of the forget-me-not family!
Fascinating plant. Quite weird though
Fascinating but weird describes many of my favourite things! 💚
@InvaderXan You could've told me that was a fungus and I would've believed you from the thumbnail. Dang, nature's weird and fascinating.
Not so weird when you think about it. This plant lives underground like a fungus. Convergent evolution means it’ll find similar solutions to problems based on what’s easiest for it. Lots of subterranean parasitic plants look kinda fungussy when they show up above ground!
Any desert after the rain is a sight to see. I’d like to see the Atacama too.
Sadly, I’ve never even seen a desert...
I keep a few of them 🙂
Nepenthes alata, sarracenia purpurea, and heliamphora minor. I'd keep more if I had space. Sarracenia leucophylla is particularly attractive.
@InvaderXan My love has some of those, grafted onto a slightly larger cactus. They've been doing well, too. My love's thought about getting another host cactus to move some of the babies onto.
(Also had one in college that just ... fell apart, while a friend was watching the plants for a week. My love didn't understand the plants at the time, thought they were a single weird cactus, and couldn't understand what their friend had *done*.)
I guess it's understandable to not really understand these plants. They're very unusual. Impressive that you can grow them like that though!
@InvaderXan It's wholly the plant's doing! We would have thought our house has too little and too indirect light for anything to be happy (and we've certainly tried finding something that would be happy), but this one's decided it is.
Ultimately, plants: what the heck, huh?
This is so cool!!
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