Epifagus virginiana beech drops Orobanchaceae EPVI; Bx, pb, vc; Q, a, cu; R, ar, bd, gb, lp, ml;

Epifagus virginiana flowers. David G. Smith. Delaware Wildflowers. discoverlife.org

Epifagus virginiana flowers. David G. Smith. Delaware Wildflowers. discoverlife.org (Accessed 5/2018).

Epifagus virginiana is an annual herb, 10-50 cm tall, parasitic on roots of beech trees, plant without chlorophyll, much-branched, slender, stems tan, striped with purplish-brown. 

Leaves reduced to scales0.2-0.4 cm long, triangular. 

Epifagus virginiana flowers. David G. Smith. Delaware Wildflowers. discoverlife.org

Epifagus virginiana flowers. David G. Smith. Delaware Wildflowers. discoverlife.org (Accessed 5/2018).

Flowers whitish, about 1 cm long, with 2 purplish stripes, tubular, bilaterally symmetrical, of two kinds, the upper flowers sterile, functionally male, open , lower flowers fertile (female), not opening, top-shaped, 0.5 cm long, 5-ribbed with cap; blooming and fruiting Aug.-Oct. 

Fruit dry, a capsule opening to release seeds; dry plant sometimes persistent to following season. 

Wetland status: UPL. 

Frequency in NYC: Infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Under beech trees (sometimes oak) in undisturbed woods. Found in forest soil under beech pH 4.8-5.1 (Gargiullo unpublished data).