How old are they? Some non-photosynthetic orchids consist of dead wood

A research team has investigated the carbon age in some non-photosynthetic mycoheterotrophic plants. Using the radiocarbon emitted from atmospheric nuclear bomb tests carried out in the 1950s and 1960s as a tracer, they revealed that some mycoheterotrophic orchids are relying on 14C-enriched bomb carbon from dead wood via saprotrophic fungi.