Conopholis americana is a herbaceous root parasite of some oak species. Entire plant yellowish or pale brown (no chlorophyll), 5-20 cm tall, erect, unbranched, stem stout, covered by leaf scales, often forming rounded knobs on tree roots, resembling old cones of white pine.
Leaves reduced to scales, to 2 cm long, fleshy, egg-shaped.
Flowers very irregular, tubular about 1 cm long, in axils of leaf scales on upper half of the plant; blooms May-June.
Fruit dry, oval, tipped by persistent stigma, seeds small, numerous .
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent, possibly historic.
Habitat: Rich oak woods. Often hidden under fallen leaves.