Daily Flower Candy: Balanophora harlandii

My knowledge of parasitic plants is limited to say the least. It extends no further than dodder (Cuscuta epithymum) and toothwort (Lathraea clandestina). But now, following my walk around Hong Kong’s Peak, I can add a third, Balanophora harlandii.  Parasitic plants seem to share little in common apart from having been knocked out in the […]

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Daily Flower Candy – Cuscuta epithymum

If you’ve ever passed a gorse bush on a cliff top or heath and wondered why it’s covered in something resembling a blanket woven from strawberry bootlaces, then you’ve encountered one of Britain’s most curious plants, Cuscuta epithymum, otherwise known as dodder. Dodder begins its annual lifecycle in spring when it germinates and twines around a host […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Lathraea clandestina

Clandestina by name, clandestine by nature, Lathraea clandestina is partial to the roots of alders, willows and hazels. This furtive perennial parasite isn’t native to the UK, but has found its way into the affections of gardeners, who value its clumps of hooded purple flowers in spring. Known commonly as toothwort, you’re unlikely to find […]

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