Thank you again to UBC BG summer student Raakel Toppila for writing today’s entry while I’m away. – Daniel
Limodorum arbortivum is a common orchid of the Mediterranean region. Its leaves are reduced in size and therefore the species is thought to be partially mycoheterotrophic, relying on a fungal intermediate to draw nutrients from a photosynthesizing plant with no direct contact between plants. A different form of heterotrophy is parasitism, in which the plant (such as Rhinanthus minor has direct contact to the vascular tissue of a photosynthesizing plant. Heterotrophy is not uncommon among orchids, as they make up about a third of heterotrophic flowering plants. Of these heterotrophic orchid species, twenty completely lack chlorophyll.