Cytinus hypocistus ssp. clusii or Cytinus ruber

 

 

 

Cytinus hypocistus ssp. clusii - click to enlarge

Cytinus hypocistus ssp. clusii or Cytinus ruber

Cytinus hypocistus ssp. clusii - click to enlarge

Cytinus hypocistus ssp. clusii or Cytinus ruber

Cytinus is a root-parasite of Cistus bushes. It lives inside the host plant except for the infloresence which appears in March to May as a brightly coloured fleshy blob of flowers at ground level. It is hidden below the base of the bush so unless you specifically look for it you are unlikely to see it.

The red version Cytinus hypocistus ssp. clusii or Cytinus ruber is found on Cistus creticus. A yellow variation (Cytinus hypocistis ssp. hypocistis) prefers to grow on Cistus parviflorus or Cistus salvifolius.

Cytinus is included in the Rafflesiaceae which is a mainly tropical parasitic family best known for producing the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia arnoldii.

You can click on the pictures to enlarge.

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