Bob arranged a weekend break from all the yard work and junk disposal and booked luxury accommodations for us just over the mountains in Leavenworth at the beautiful Haus Rohrbach Bed & Breakfast. The breakfasts at Haus Rohrbach were huge and too delicious to describe, see the picture below for an example. The view from our deck was spectacular. We had two hikes and a visit to the Ohme Gardens in Wenatchee, about 20 miles away, in very hot (90 degree F), sunny weather, and a night out for a concert featuring a string quartet with music by Haydn and Beethoven. What a wonderful get-away without going too far from home.
The view from our deck
Yes, I did get postcards, so a Thursday postcard feature will be coming up some time in the future; therefore, I won’t dwell further on the hikes or Leavenworth for now. What does deserve mention; however, is one of the unusual plants we saw while out hiking. As shown in the photos below the plant is immediately identifiable by its distinctive red and white candy cane color pattern and hence its common names of Candystick, Sugarstick, Barber Pole, and Candystripe. The scientific name is Allotropa virgata.
This plant is only found in the Northwestern United States and British Columbia, Canada. On the way up to Hidden Lake near Wenatchee we were looking mostly to the opposite side of the trail and walked right past this grouping but on the way back to the trailhead the sun was shining on them and we saw the group of eleven easily. It is a perennial plant in the Heath Family and is the only species of the genus Allotropa. The plant is non-green because it lacks chlorophyll and gets nutrition from neighboring green plants through a fungal intermediate the Matsutake mushroom. Candysticks have brittle underground rhizome roots, are found in old growth forests of coniferous and hardwood trees and while not endangered they are somewhat rare. Bob said that he had only seen them twice in 25 years of hiking and never this many altogether.
Different non-chlorophyll plants we have seen on other hikes are the Coral Root (spotted, striped, and plain), Indian Pipe, Pine Sap and the Pine Drop. All of these are often found listed in the “Odd Ball” section of some plant books.
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