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NPIN: Native Plant Database

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Monotropa uniflora (Indianpipe)
Glase, Terry

Monotropa uniflora

Monotropa uniflora L.

Indianpipe, Indian Pipe

Monotropaceae (Indian-Pipe Family)

Synonym(s): Monotropa brittonii

USDA Symbol: MOUN3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

Waxy white plant that blackens with age; stems covered with scaly bracts and terminated by a solitary nodding flower that looks like a shepherd’s hook.

These plants were once believed to absorb all nutrients from decayed organic material, but it is now known that they are associated with a fungus, which obtains nutrients directly from the roots of green plants. Indian Pipe, therefore, is more of a parasite, with the fungus as a bridge between it and its host. The plant turns black as the fruit ripens or when it is picked and dried.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit:

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: AK , AL , AR , CA , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Northwestern California to Alaska; east across the northern part of the western and most of the eastern United States.
Native Habitat: Deep shaded woods.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Conditions Comments: This non-green, waxy plant gets its nourishment from decayed organic material through a fungal relationship (mycorrhiza) associated with the roots. The plant turns black as the fruit ripens or when it is picked and dried. (Niering)

Benefit

Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Plant identification
September 24, 2008
I found a flower about 5 inches tall and it is Pinkish White the head of it hangs down and looks like a rose that hasn't bloomed yet. It reminds me of an Orchid like Fairy . Its Mystic like! what is ...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACU UPL FACU FACU UPL FACU FACU FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1989 VOL. 6, NO.4 - Spring Climbs Rockies Slowly, Colorado Cooler, Conference of Wildflower and Nati...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Monotropa uniflora in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Monotropa uniflora in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Monotropa uniflora

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-06-24
Research By: TWC Staff

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