A parasitic plant, which despite the name it is not harmful to the trees. It forms symbyosis with oak trees roots and appears on the woodland floor with ‘pine cones’ like flowers in late spring.
It is edible and has been also used by the Native people as a medicinal plant. Wild animals will feed on the ‘cones like’ structures, hence the common name.
It spreads by seeds, in which case it will start flowering after four years.
Germination: incorporate the seeds in the fall around an oak tree, and fingers crossed a few years later the ‘cones’ will appear. It still needs a woodland environment, mainly shady, moist sites.