Episode 78: Huckleberries and Pinedrops

 

Sierra is filling in for Casey this week, and she’s talking about a favorite fruit of foragers and a plant that has frustrated plant breeders for decades – the magical, mystical huckleberry. Sierra explains why this plant has been so difficult to domesticate and reminds us that we’re not the only animal in the forest that enjoys eating this delicious, late summer fruit. Forage responsibly…and safely!

huckleberries (Vaccinium sp.) via wikimedia commons

Speaking of forest plants, not all of them play nice. Some of them are parasitic, robbing other organisms of nutrients rather than obtaining them from the soil like more dignified plants do. Daniel introduces us to a parasitic plant called pinedrops, which takes its nutrients from fungi associated with the roots of pine trees.

pinedrops (Pterospora andromedea)

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This episode aired on Radio Boise in September 2019 and featured music by Toy Zoo.

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