Mystery Plant?
August 24, 2011 7:41 PM   Subscribe

A friend sent this picture of a strange plant that he is trying to identify. He found it growing at his campsite almost underneath a tent that he had left up. He has asked a lot of people if they know what it is and no one has identified it yet. The closest anyone has come up with is that it might possibly belong to the same family..Monotropaceae.. as Indian Pipe. He said that it grew in relative darkness under the edge of the tent, probably had next to no water, and sprouted during the heat of August. The location is near Julian, CA about an hour's drive from San Diego, and the tent site is in a tree-shaded canyon high in the Cuyamaca Mountians at 4000 ft. Any ideas?
posted by archaic to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It looks like it could be a broomrape
posted by shrabster at 8:14 PM on August 24, 2011

It looks a little like cistanche tubulosa, the desert hyacinth. This is not a plant I am familiar with, though, and the pictures I find online are either of brightly-colored ones, or very tiny photos of white ones.
posted by miss patrish at 8:16 PM on August 24, 2011

Best answer: Yeah looks like shrabster has it. Check out the photos on this page.
posted by gubo at 8:22 PM on August 24, 2011

Cool! Looks like it's parasitic, too--from the same family as desert hyacinth.
posted by miss patrish at 8:30 PM on August 24, 2011

Response by poster: This is great, he has been trying to identify this for the last couple of weeks and coming up empty. You guys nailed it.
posted by archaic at 8:44 PM on August 24, 2011

Apparently they are edible too...if so inclined.
posted by samsara at 1:51 AM on August 25, 2011

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