Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
1 rating

Monday - July 20, 2009

From: Beltzville, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: ID of odd woodland plant in PA?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Found in the woods in Eastern Pennsylvania. It is about 8 inches tall and were found in clusters of 3 to 10. They are clear. with pink and black tops. Similar to a flower, but snaps like a fungus. What is it?

ANSWER:

It is rare that we are able to identify a plant from a description alone.  This might be one of those rare cases.  We think your mystery plant is Monotropa uniflora (Indianpipe), a parasitic vascular plant.  Technically, it's a myco-heterotroph, a plant that uses a fungus as sort of a go-between to get its needed nutrients from host plants.  Indian pipes contain no chlorophyll and cannot photosynthesize -- thus the white coloration of the plant.

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification
October 31, 2013 - I have a plant that is about 6ft high, single stem or 2 or 3 together. from this stem are leaves, alternate and large, about 5-6 inches long, they are about 2.5" wide, irregular edges from the middle...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant with orange sap that glows at night
June 06, 2012 - I was just pulling up a plant and noticed that its sap was a kind of orange then I noticed it glowing orange at night. What kind of plant is this and is it dangerous?
view the full question and answer

Proper spacing for planting yuccas
January 10, 2009 - We bought some yuccas and need to know how far apart to plant them
view the full question and answer

Identity of very tall plants in Austin, TX
August 13, 2012 - I have these huge tall plants. They don't seem to want to bloom and they are shading out my other natives. They get very tall. 10 feet or so. What is it?
view the full question and answer

Information about unknown house plant in Cleburne, TX
May 29, 2009 - Please,I have a green houseplant w/5-6 inch wide heartshaped leaves that grows small,green fingerling pods. Very long,zig-zaggy stems on this plant. No florist/gardener here can identify.Pretty and ge...
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.