En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - August 09, 2007

From: Blumenort, MB
Region: Canada
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of Monotropa uniflora
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I found a peculiar flower in Nopoming Provincial Forest, Manitoba last weekend (August 4th). I found it growing in moss on top of rock (the Canadian shield). It was in shade. About 3 or 4 were clumped together. They were entirely white. They were entirely the same texture (almost rubbery?). They each started from a straight smooth stem coming up out of the moss and wrapped tightly over (like a candy cane, but more closely to the stem). Then a flower with stiff petals facing towards the ground. Do you know what it was??? I had never seen anything like it before. It was about six inches tall, and all white.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks what you saw was Monotropa uniflora (Indianpipe), a very unusual plant that is associated with a fungus that parasitizes the roots of green plants; thus, the Indianpipe parasitizes the parasite for its nutrients. Previously, the Genus Monotropa was in the Family Ericaceae (Heath Family) which contains blueberries, cranberries and azaleas. Now it has its very own family, Family Monotropaceae.

You can read more about Monotropa uniflora and other members of the Monotropaceae.


Monotropa uniflora

Monotropa uniflora

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
June 07, 2010 - There are large trees with brilliant orange flowers around Naples FL. Can you tell me what this is?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Smoke Tree
July 11, 2005 - I live in Indianapolis Indiana and there is this wonderful tree on my street which has the most unusual flowers that I've ever seen. They look like pink and white fiber optics. Spencer gift stores us...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant in Kentucky with fuzzy grayish-green leaves
September 03, 2012 - I would like to know about a plant that I do not know what it is. I had this plant just come up in my flowerbed, that looked like a tobacco plant but the leaves looked like a lambs ear plant. It was ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of bulbs from digging in an anthole
June 13, 2012 - I was digging in an ant hole and it collapsed and as I dug it out, I found around 50 white bulbs that did not have a smell or roots. They resembled onion bulbs. I have a picture of these and they are...
view the full question and answer

Plant identifcation and wants to know about weeds
September 30, 2007 - My son planted some seeds in pots before he left and I don't know if I am watering weeds/plants??? One plant has green & red (lateral) striped stalks with something on the end that to me from Texas ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center