Friday, August 7

Pinedrops, Goldenrod, Lavender Hyssop

Wed., Hubby and I went for a zip on the 4-wheeler up on the trail just 2 miles from our home. The Black Hills are covered in off-road trails and we see anything from 4WD pickups to dune buggies out there, besides the more common 4-wheelers. I took my Fuji point-and-shoot digital camera; didn't want my SLR to be bumped around...did miss one photo op with a hawk, naturally...

The pinedrops (Indian pipe family) is probably the most unique of all the wildflowers found in the Black Hills. It is a saprophyte whose roots have a strong symbiotic relationship with certain soil fungi; the fungi actually grow into root tissues of the plant and share water and nutrients with them. This enables the plant to obtain sustenance from decaying matter in the soil. We saw many pinedrops in the humus-rich soil below the ponderosa pines in the forest. Much more than I've seen in recent, past years. They grow up to four feet tall! I think they're the coolest! They look like tiny Chinese lanterns, don't they?

The goldenrod is one of the last wildflowers of summer; there are several types in the Black Hills and I gave up trying to ID them yrs ago! But, this may be Missouri goldenrod (most common), with a pretty beetle-type bug on it.

The lavender hyssop is in bloom; several of the mints grow among/around each other. The bee balm is also plentiful along the trail, but most of it is past its prime now.


  1. Beautiful goldenrod, that's not one of the types we see in this area. The hyssop looks similar to one I'm growing this year. So far I haven't seen any insect activity on mine.

  2. Oh my goodness,I love the pinedrops,I have never seen that before.Girl you sure show some great pics..keep'em coming...

  3. I've never seen a pinedrop before. They are beautiful.