Photos by Bob Thomas, Tiger Fern Trail, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize, May 2004.
Helosis cayennensis is a member of the plant family Balanophoraceae. The species is a root parasite in moist forests in the tropics. As in many parasitic plants, it has no chlorophyll. Most of their life is spent underground, but they occasionally produce what resembles a mushroom and is called a tuber. Its life form is analogous to the mycelium of a fungus with its occasional, obvious above ground reproductive mushroom.
These tubers were found about half way up the trail, and they have not been seen since.