PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — For the first time in Massachusetts, a rare plant that is considered endangered in nearby states has been located in the Berkshires.

According to MassWildlife, amateur botanist Syke van der Laan was out in the Berkshires when he found a strange-looking plant. He thought it was best to report the discovery to MassWildlife.

From MassWildlife, state botanist Robert Wernerehl and retired biologist Tony Gola went to take a look at the plant. They discovered that this was the first time ever that “pine-drops” was discovered in Massachusetts on record.

Pine-drops discovered in the Berkshires (Credit: MassWildlife)

Pine-drops is a unique because it contains no chlorophyll, relying instead on mycorrhizal fungi in the soil for nutrients. The creamy-white flower can appear after rain in the mid-summer. MassWildlife says pine-drops are closely related to the blueberry family.

Pine-drops is known to commonly appear in the Rocky Mountains in the western part of the country but does have a small population in nearby states like New York, Vermont and New Hampshire. However, in those Northeast states, pine-drops is considered endangered.

“The pine-drops prefers dry pine forests, and we have plenty of that,” explains Wernerehl. “We’re grateful to the sharp eyes and careful observations of naturalists like Skye that help us expand our understanding of biodiversity in the Commonwealth.”

The plant’s seeds are light and carried by strong winds, which we’ve seen a lot of this summer. However, this plant typically doesn’t spread easily so the discovery of pine-drops in the Berkshires is certainly an extraordinary find. It’s unclear if the plant has just been undetected for a long time or if we’ll see more of the plant in the Commonwealth.