Another riverside spot, a pretty parasite! This perennial completely lacks chlorophyll (the green pigment that allows plants to obtain energy from light), which gives it an intriguing washed out creamy pink look. Common toothwort spends most of its life underground, rather than make its own food it attaches pad-like suckers to the tips of roots of a host plant. Hosts are usually woody plants, its favourite host is Hazel, but will also attach to Ash, Alder, Beech, Elm and Walnut. The name Common Toothwort is thought to derive from the flowering spikes apparently resembling rows of teeth.
By River Six