Gnome plant

Hemitomes congestum

''Hemitomes'' is a monotypic genus of plants containing the single species ''Hemitomes congestum'', which is known as gnome plant and cone plant. This rare and unusual plant is native to the west coast of North America from British Columbia to California, where it grows in dense, dark forests such as the redwood forests of the region. This is small, fleshy, stemless perennial plant forming lumps in the leaf litter. It is white, yellowish, or reddish-pink in color. Little is known about the life cycle of the plant due to its rarity, but it probably obtains its nutrients by parasitizing fungi, so it lacks the green of chlorophyll. It grows from a rhizome with fragile roots and its form is covered in sparse scales which are the rudimentary leaves. An inflorescence emerges on a thick stalk from the soil bearing solitary to densely bunched flowers. The flowers have ragged yellowish or pinkish petals and contain hairs and large rounded yellow stigmas. The fruit is a fleshy white berry.