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Monotropa uniflora L.
Indianpipe, Indian Pipe
Synonym(s): Monotropa brittonii
USDA Symbol: moun3
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.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
, WV Canada: NB
, 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 ConditionsLight 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)
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
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 ...
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National Wetland Indicator Status
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.
Record Last Modified: 2013-06-24
Research By: TWC Staff