Pterospora andromedea
Image of Pterospora andromedea

Photo by Daniel C. Nepstad 

Key Characteristics

Tall parasitic plant (30-100 cm) of coniferous woods; stems dark red with sticky glands, bearing numerous scale-like leaves; inflorescence with numerous nodding, bell-shaped white flowers and dark red sepals.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Grand Traverse11902
Presque Isle51997
St. Clair21893
Distribution map for Pterospora andromedea

Updated 1/31/2017. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Pine-drops is found in dry to moist woods dominated by pines or mixed conifers, usually with a well developed needle duff. Along Great Lakes shorelines, it is found in boreal forest and on forested backdunes.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Feel free to send questions and comments to Brad Slaughter at

Associated Plants

Hemlock, white spruce, red pine, white pine, balsam fir, white cedar, large leaved aster, hepatica, spotted coral root, wintergreen, and various ferns.


Pine-drops is dependent upon a fungus that forms mycorrhizal relationship with a forest tree. Preservation of an intact forest is necessary to maintain this relationship, but research is likely required to determine how forest management practices influence the growth and distribution of the species.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Apr 30, 2017]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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