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Pine flowers

Podyelniki . or Vertenza ( Monótropa ) — genus of perennial Beskorovainy saprophytic herbs of the family Ericaceae. Plants of this genus are widely distributed in the regions with temperate and cold climates of the Northern hemisphere, mostly in coniferous forests.

Podyelniki ordinary (Monotropa hypopitys)

The genus consists of two species, one of which occurs in Russia.

Witch ring of the flowering plants of Podyelniki single-flowered (Monotropa uniflora). USA, Washington, San Juan Islands, Orcas island

Synonymous scientific names — Hypopitys Hill (1756).

Scientific generic name — Monotropa — can be translated as “one-sided” (GK. monos — “one” tropos “turn”). This name is given because of one-sided inflorescence, characteristic for the species Monotropa hypopitys . which grows in Europe. The Russian name “Podyelniki” is the translation of the specific epithet of this species (gr.hypo — “under”, pitys “pine tree”).

Russian folk name — padjelanta (accomplice), uradna grass.

The English name of the genus is the Indian Pipe (“Indian pipe” — because of the similarity of plants with pipes of the Indians), Ghost Plant (“the plant of ghosts”, “Ghost flower” because of the white color), Corpse Plant (the”corpse flower”).

The Finnish name of the genus, Mäntykukat . in a literal translation means “pine flowers”, and the Estonian, seen-lill , — “fungus flower”, after the similarity with forest mushrooms hat.

Polyalkylbenzenes (Monotropa hypopitys)

Members of the genus is a perennial herbaceous plants, completely devoid of chlorophyll. Colour — white or yellowish (sometimes pink or even pink-red), same for the stem and leaves, and flowers; the whole plant seems vyleplennymi of wax. Podyelniki distributed in shady forests of different composition, mainly in conifers, but also occurs in mixed and deciduous forests (e.g. oak forests). Grows in forest litter — most often at the base of conifers.

The juicy stem, height from 5 to 25 cm, with a diameter of about 0.5 cm.

The leaves are alternate, fleshy, scale-like, ovate-oblong, with a length of about 1.5 cm.

Flowers regular, with a length of 1.5 cm, elongated bell-shaped. Podyelniki single-flowered flowers solitary, ordinary podelnika — in number from two to twelve, closely adjacent to each other, clustered in terminal drooping brush. Calyx absent; usually there are two pritsvetniki, in magnitude nearly equal to the petals. Corolla nearly white or creamy-yellowish, consists of four or five petals, each of which has at the base a small saclike swelling. Podyelniki single-flowered nectar secreted by these bulges. Disc nectar in the flowers of Podyelniki absent (unlike most other related species), however, at the base of the ovary remain reduced papillae. Stamens eight or more. Flowering is from mid summer to mid autumn (in the European part of Russia — in late summer). The gynaecium. Pollination occurs through insects. To attract them the plant spreads aroma similar to smell of lemon.

The fruit is oval (egg-shaped) box. When Mature fruits drooping brush, on which were flowers, straightens up.

Podyelniki seeds compared to seeds of other Ericaceae are very light, similar to dust (their weight is 0,000003 g), equipped with a “tail”. “Tail” and a small mass is explained by the fact that seeds are spread by air currents, and in dense woods, in which grows Podyelniki, and the wind very weak.

Podyelniki ordinary (Monotropa hypopitys)

Until recently it was believed that Podyelniki saprophytic plant, but its power was much more complex. Podyelniki, like most other members of the Heather family, lives in symbiosis with microscopic fungi. Features of the symbiosis of Podyelniki is that hyphae same as in fungi penetrate the roots of Podyelniki and the roots of adjacent trees. Through these hyphae, Podyelniki receives not only nutrients that produce mushrooms, but also substances from trees (e.g., phosphates) that are necessary for normal functioning, including the formation of seeds (it is for this reason that Podyelniki can do without Photosynthesizing parts); in return, the trees obtained by the same fungal hyphae of izbytochnoi generated by podelnikom.

Another feature of Podyelniki is that microscopic fungi are found almost in all organs of plants and in the roots and in the shoots and even flowers.

The question is whether to treat the genus Podyelniki plants-parasites.

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