Conopholis americana /Broomrape Family
April 3, 2005
This leafless plant is a parasite on the roots of trees, often on oaks. I call it "Bears' Ex-Lax" because it is eaten by bears in the spring as a type of "laxative" to clean them out after spending the winter sleeping. There is a huge area of these strange flowers at Norris Dam State Park, however, there are no bears there to eat them!
Where seen:University of Tennessee Arboretum, Haw Ridge Greenway, Frozen Head SP, Great Smoky Mountains NP, Warriors' Path SP