Field Guide to Jetty Island
The tangles of orange stringlike matter aren’t mermaid hair. They’re a leafless, rootless plant that create energy not by photosynthesis but by absorbing nutrients and water from host plants such as pickleweed. Although these plants are parasites, they aren’t prolific enough to wipe out their marshland hosts.
Spot in the saltwater marshes.
(Annie Mulligan / For The Herald)