Monday, August 19, 2013

Indian Pipe



This is Indian Pipe.  It's one of our more unusual wildflowers - also called Corpse Plant.

Cheery, huh?

The Latin is Monotropa uniflora. [Or possibly it's Monotropastrum humile] It has no chlorophyll  and instead feeds off of certain fungi, which in turn feed off decaying woods, especially beech.   In the extra damp this year, we had several clusters pop up down near the bench near the creek where it is cool and green and shady all summer.  


The clusters showed up especially where fallen branches had been decomposing.

Ghostly.

I can see why it's called Corpse Plant.   Here's some more fun information about it.  It's in the blueberry family....


3 comments:

  1. Interestingly, we were just discussing this plant with our friends who were visiting this weekend! :)

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  2. After a close-up gander at it, it reminds me of fish... the 'petals' or whatever they are are delicate and sheer, like fish fins! So is it a true plant? How does it feed on fungus? Are there roots? Is it a parasitic to the fungus? So many questions! I'll have to go read about it!

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