Balanophora fungosa

Balanophora fungosa is a parasitic plant growing on the roots of rainforest plants. The flowering structure is shaped like a toadstool but consists of a globe covered with thousands of tiny female flowers. The globe is surrounded at its base by a much smaller number of male flowers. In flower, the plant emits an odour resembling that of mice.”

Young male inflorescences, flowers still unopened. 1600 m in montane cloud forest. Mt. Samkos (Pursat Province) in the Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia. (Photo Nov. 2010 by Jeremy Holden.)
Young male inflorescences, flowers still unopened. 1600 m in montane cloud forest. Mt. Samkos (Pursat Province) in the Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia. (Photo Nov. 2010 by Jeremy Holden.)

Balanophora fungosa

red parasitic plant on the forest floor in cambodia

Balanophora fungosa: a flowering plant that parasitizes roots of trees, and is entirely lacking in green pigments. Balanophora fungosa obtains water and nutrients from the host plant it is attached to. […] This species inhabits coastal forests in Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan (Ryukyu Islands), New Guinea, Philippines, Australia, and Pacific Islands.

Photo credit: Jeremy Holden

Locality: Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia