a gorgeous riverbank find
Whilst clearing our riverbank we discovered these gorgeous little gems hidden in the undergrowth - Purple Toothwort, its scientific name is Lathraea clandestia and in France it its known as Clandestine. Apparently they like to grow in decaying woodland. Also it is completely devoid of chlorophyll and thus any green colouration, therefore unable to photo-synthesize itself and hijacks the root system of other plants for nutrients. It loves the roots of Alder, Poplar and Willow. It is also a borderline carnivorous plant, meaning that it can physically trap insects but only might be capable of digesting them and absorbing the nutrients. Amazingly it can take up to 10 years for the purple flowers to appear.