Backwell Environment Trust

...15 years of conservation, protection, improvement...

Yellow Bird's Nest

The reserve’s rarest plant, the Yellow Bird’s-nest (Monotropa hypopitys), is a strange perennial plant with a yellow stem and scale-like leaves. It can grow up to 20cm tall and has no green chlorophyll. It was once thought to be a ‘saprophyte'feeding on decaying organic matter but recent research suggests it is a 'aepiparastic' plant using tricholoma fungi to extract nutrients from living trees. Its flowers come out between June and September and can be up to 15mm long (although the specimens in Jubilee Stone Wood/Badgers Wood tend to be smaller). Our plants have been confirmed by the Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre (BRERC) as being the only known specimens in the whole of North Somerset.
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