Indian Pipe – 6/14/09
Observer: Paul Lauenstein
Observation Date: 6/14/09
Observation Time: 7:30 a.m.
Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm, Trustees of Reservations land
Common Name: Indian Pipe
Scientific Name: Monotropa uniflora
Comments: Indian pipe, also known as ghost plant (or ghost pipe) or corpse plant, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of European Russia, Asia, North America and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas. It is generally rare in occurrence.
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. It is often associated with beech trees. The complex relationship that allows this plant to grow also makes propagation difficult.
More Information: Wikipedia