Sunday, November 9, 2014


Monotropa uniflora
Indianpipe is a cool little plant, all white while it's growing, then turning brown with a cool seed pod later on. It's fairly uncommon, but usually lots of them where they are found. Sometimes just one pops up in a spot, but oftentimes there are bunches of them growing right together. It's a perennial plant that grows from a mass of roots.

As you can see, this plant has no chlorophyll, therefore it must get its energy from elsewhere. It's not a direct parasite of tree roots as was once thought, but instead is parasitic on fungi that are mycorrhizal on trees. It's a very complex relationship that is better described here. This complex relationship does make it very difficult, if not impossible, to grow this plant in a garden or pot or anywhere except in the woodlands where all the parts of the puzzle are present.

The plants turn brown at the end of the summer
The brown pods produce lots of seeds

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