Yakushima birdlime is blooming

In the Mt.Yuwandake, the Yakushima birdlime was in full bloom. Though it may appear as red mushrooms, these are actually flowers, belonging to a parasitic plant that grows on other broadleaf trees.

When entering the forest, you can see them popping up on the forest floor. Interestingly, a few years ago, it was considered a unique Amami Oshima species called Yuwan birdlime. However, DNA analysis revealed its similarity to those growing in Yakushima island and Tanegashima island, leading to its renaming as Yakushima birdlime. This might be somewhat disheartening news for the people of Amami Oshima.

Recent research data has also been published, indicating the involvement of the Amama rabbits in the reproduction of Yakushima birdlime. It appears that the crows eat the Yakushima birdlime, contributing to its reproduction by excreting seeds in their droppings.

Perhaps Amami rabbits are attracted to the appealing appearance of the red fruit as well.

Why not take a walk on Mt.Yuwandake while looking for the blooming red flowers in the forest?

Yakushima birdlime / ヤクシマツチトリモチ
Balanophora yakushimensis
Habitat: Amami Oshima Island, Yakushima Island, Tanegasima Island etc.
Characteristics: A parasitic plant that does not photosynthesis but instead derives nutrients from trees for its growth.