Friday, June 19, 2009

What is this?

So, a couple of weeks ago we came across this odd plant up in the spruce/fir-aspen zone, around 8500 feet, in northern NM. It looks a bit like a a fleshy plant, a bit like a fungus. Still emerging from the duff, the stalks are about an inch and a half in diameter and perhaps seven inches tall. What is it?

Field guides having been of no help, I turn to the wealth of the 'net.

Edited to add- identified by Chas Clifton in the comments!


Trout Caviar said...

And...that's what you get for turning to the "wealth o' the 'net." I'm afraid I can't be of any more help, except to say, Sure looks funky....


mdmnm said...


Thanks! I've got to say, I figured some woods-wise reader was going to pop off right away with "that's a ____, why didn't you know that?" Apparently, it's more strange than I realized.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a saprophyte of some type. I couldn't find an easy answer, but maybe call one of these folks and send the pics:

Usually the state Native Plant Society folks are helpful and knowledgeable. Good Luck. Taku

mdmnm said...

Thanks, Taku!

Chas S. Clifton said...

Take a look at this post.

Scroll down to the "achlorophyllous beastie." Similar sort of organism?

mdmnm said...

That's it!

Thanks, Chas!

Not quite exactly the same, but the Western variant. Very cool- Alpine Cancer Root.