The Candystick (Allotropa virgata) is found in conifir and hardwood forests throughout the Pacific Northwest. It emerges in Spring, initially resembling white asparagus. It prefers soil rich in decaying wood, which stores moisture and nutrients. Although a flowering plant, it spreads mostly through underground rhizomes. Allotropa is a mycotroph– it lacks chlorophyll, but obtains nutrients by bonding to mycorrhizal fungi which in turn take nutrients from the roots of trees. Matsutake is a common host fungi, so Allotropa is often a good indicator of matsutake mushroom sites.
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