Orchids feed their young through underground fungal connections

The common spotted-orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)

The common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) seems to send food to its seedlings

Mark Bulmer/Alamy

Some orchids share resources with their seedlings, in what seems to be a form of parental care by plants.

The young seedlings don’t have chlorophyll, so are unable to make their own food through photosynthesis, and biologists were in the dark about where the tiny plants got their nutrition from.

“Seedlings are often seen in clusters around adult orchids,” says Katie Field at…

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