Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Native Plant “Indian Pipe”

 

In the hills here in the  summer as you are walking along the deep shady woodlands you may run across a strange and unusual white plant growing in the fertile soil.

EJC_Indian_Pipe

Monotropa uniflora,  Indian Pipe, Ghost Plant or Corpse Plant is a herbaceous perennial. Unlike other plants it contains no chlorophyll and needs no sunlight to grow. It likes the dark fertile forest.

Indian_pipe

In reality it is parasite plant  that thrives on certain fungi of trees from where it receives its energy. Single stems grow that range from 3 to 4 inched in height.

Indian_Pipe2 
The waxy looking stems only produce one single flower.
Sometimes the stems may have some black spotting or even a pinkish cast to them.
It is quite an impressive plant to see and is getting rare here in the parks area. When I run across one that some hikers have mangled it always saddens me because they either do not respect or realize how rare and beautiful a plant it is. And also the plants here in the parks is off limits to picking or destroying.
So if you run across this plant in your walks or hikes please let it grow undisturbed.

Happy Gardening,

Lona

20 comments:

Becca's Dirt said...

Pretty flower. Interesting.

Serenity Cove said...

I've never seen them growing around here but I have seen them in the Smoky Mountains. Very unusual looking plant.

GRACE PETERSON said...

Hi Lona,

What a cool-looking plant. It saddens me too to think that people could mess with such rare beauty. I love that you posted about it. I hope you're having spring-like weather.

pivi said...

Exceptional plant, a bit like a ghost because of it's color. And quite new to me.

Janneke said...

Very interesting. I have never seen or heard of Monotropa. It really looks like a ghost. I shall find out if this plant is also growing somewhere in our part of the world.

Helen said...

I have never seen one of those. They are beautiful.

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

What an interesting plant. Never seen one of those. Thanks for capturing the photos to share.

nelsontheadventurer said...

Many believe that it's a mushroom but it is not, it is a unique organism known as the "ghost plant".

Although known for their whitish color, if you look closer you'll often see flecks of black or a pale pink cast. Some species even appear reddish or yellow.

Bernie H said...

What an amazing and beautiful little plant! It certainly deserves a lot of respect and care.

Kalantikan said...

Oh thanks for my new information. It really looks like a ghost but lovely ghost. I didn't know of chlorophyl-less plants, it really is so beautiful.

Sunray Gardens said...

Never heard of these before Lona. Of course I don't ever go walking in woods but it's interesting that those solid white plants come up at all.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Balisha said...

When I was a girl we had a field trip to a man's yard in our town. He had the most wonderful wildflower garden. He showed us Indian Pipes and I haven't seen them anywhere since.I wasn't interested much in gardens at that age...I only wish I could return to my youth and do this field trip again.
balisha

Willow said...

Oh a most interesting plant, very amazing, I would love to see one.

Karen said...

Lona, that is an amazing plant, never have seen anything like it. Your photos are wonderful. Who'd think an albino plant could survive? Sometimes we have really bizarre fungi pop up (though nothing as beautiful as this) and I wonder at the growth rate which is phenomenal. And then, just as suddenly, they disappear.

Thank you for showing these interesting plants, Lona!

Stephanie said...

It's the kind of plant that I would love see! How unique. With more bloggers like you, I am sure many plants will have a bright future ;-) Have a wonderful weekend.

Nadezda said...

Lola, cute Indian pipe! I think it's tender and weak flower.Isn't it?
It has a nice center and remind me an anemone.
Have a nice weekend!

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful and intriguing plant Lona! I found myself wondering about the name and then looked back at your first picture. Indian Pipe: it makes sense, it does look like an Indian pipe. Have a great Easter weekend!

Kathleen said...

That is a very cool plant Lona. We need more protected places so we don't lose beautiful, unique blooms like these. It probably doesn't grow here since it's so arid??

Thank you very much for all your words of encouragement & support too. Losing someone so important really makes you re-evaluate things. I'm still up & down but hopefully it will warm up soon so the garden can work some healing magic.

Carol said...

Lona, These are intriguing little plants. I always admire them when seeing them in the forest. That is a great shot of its hidden flower!! What a curiosity. Happy Spring to you! Carol

Janet QueenofSeaford said...

Wonderful photos of a very cool plant Lona. Saw one last spring...very interesting plant.