Toothwort – Hetchell Wood


This intriguing plant, Toothwort (Lathraea squamaria), its flower shoot photographed emerging from the ground in Hetchell Wood (30 March ’19), contains no chlorophyll and therefore cannot photosynthesise. It is a parasite, mostly on Hazel and Elm, and has no leaves. The flower is pollinated mainly by Bumblebees in April and May, after which it dies down and survives for the rest of the year as an underground rhizome. It is a good indicator of ancient woodland.

Andy Millard

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