Friday, August 14, 2009

Indian Pipe

I've come across the very cool and most unique Indian Pipe, Monotropa uniflora, in a couple of locations around the lake.

From Wikipedia:

"Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a myco-heterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest. The complex relationship that allows this plant to grow also makes propagation difficult."

"Monotropa uniflora." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 10 Aug 2009, 21:47 UTC. 10 Aug 2009 <>.


  1. This seems to be a banner year for Indian Pipes, probably because of all the rain- there's a lot of tree rot to feed off of. I've been finding patches of them since mid-July and some of these patches are huge, containing 20 to 30+ pipes! I have even found a few that have delicate hues of pink. Also about now we should be seeing 'false beech drops' also known as 'pine-sap'. They too are ghostly white and parasitic, usually found near the roots of oak and pine.

  2. I've been looking for the pinkish ones--nothing yet. Now I'll also be on the lookout for false beech drops. Thanks for that!

    All the rain, indeed. Seems like it's always raining this year, doesn't it?