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<em>Pholisma sonorae</em>
Sherwin Carlquist Santa Barbara California USA
Pholisma sonorae
Pholisma sonorae
The underground portions of Pholisma sonorae are long, succulent stems that bear elongate leaves, some of which have been displayed in this portion of a stem dug up from the sand. If one dug deeply enough, one might be able to find where a root connection originally formed between the parasitic Pholisma sonorae plant and its host plant. However, sand continually sifts over Pholisma sonorae plants and buries them more deeply. We have no idea how many flowering stems might branch from one original plant. There is, however, a curious feature shown in this photograph. Apparently the leaves of Pholisma sonorae bear small root like structures on their outer surfaces. Are these indeed roots that make contact with roots of a host plant? They seem unlikely to be hairs of any sort, because the lennoid plants related to Pholisma sonorae have no hairs on underground leaves. However, no studies have been done on these structures, which do not appear to have been mentioned in literature on Pholisma sonorae.

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Botanical Society of America
Additional data
copyright: Carlquist, BSA
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Botanical Name
<em>Pholisma sonorae</em>
Common Name
Sand Food
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