What is beech drops used for? Actually Beechdrops aren’t something you’ll easily find in a candy store, however you may see beechdrop wildflowers in dry woodlands where American beech trees are prominent. The Beechdrop plants are actually found across most of eastern Canada and the United States and the plants are sometimes spotted as far west as Texas. Continue reading to learn more about the life and times of the fascinating beechdrops plant.


 What is the Beech Drops Habitat?

The scientific name of Beechdrop wildflowers is Epifagus americana and Epifagus virginiana and the plant consist of brownish stems and spiky clusters of small, cream colored, tube-shaped flowers with prominent maroon or brown markings. The Beechdrop plants actually bloom in late summer and autumn, and by late autumn, the plant turn brown and die. Although Beechdrops plants reach heights of five to eighteen inches, you may walk past a plant without noticing it because the colors of the chlorophyll-less plants are so dull. The beechdrop plants are root parasites; they lack chlorophyll and possess only small, flat scales in place of leaves so they have no way to photosynthesize. The only way this oddly attractive little plant can survive is by the generosity of the beech tree. The beechdrops plants are equipped with small root-like structures that insert into the beech root, thus drawing out just enough nutrition to sustain the plant. Since the beechdrop plants are short-lived, the plants don’t damage the beech tree. What is beech drops used for? Plant historians believe that Native Americans brewed dried beechdrop plants to make a bitter, pungent tea which they used to treat mouth sores, diarrhea, and dysentery. In spite of this past use, it is unadvisable to use these plants today. In fact, if you notice this strange little plant, don’t pick it. Although it may seem inconsequential, the beech plant wildflowers are an important part of the ecosystem. In some areas, the beechdrop plant is relatively rare. That doesn’t mean you cannot still enjoy the plants. Should you take a stroll in the woods near beech trees and happen across this interesting plant, have your camera handy and snap a photo. It really makes a great teaching tool for kids as well when learning about photosynthesis or parasitic plants.

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