Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Indian Pipe (monotropa uniflora)

The Indian Pipe (also known as the Ghost Plant, or Corpse Plant) is a rather unusual flower. It contains no chlorophyll and cannot manufacture its own food by photosynthesis, instead it is a parasitic plant that feeds on the beneficial fungi that grow in tree roots. Indian Pipes are found in dark, damp wooded areas, and it is the combination of growing conditions and specific food source that makes this plant an uncommon find.

Most Indian Pipes are a ghostly white color. This pink specimen I found is quite rare, with a red variety being the most rare of all. It is a fascinating flower, with waxy, almost translucent leaves and petals. It looks more like an alien species than something that would grow naturally on earth. It just goes to show you how mysterious and wonderful the natural world we live in really is!

Bumblebee's love the flower's pollen!

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this!

It kind of creeps me out, but it's beautiful, too. I can see why it's named what it's named.


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