Monotropa uniflora L.
Indianpipe, Indian Pipe
Monotropaceae (Indian Pipe Family)
Synonym(s): Monotropa brittonii
USDA Symbol: moun3
Monotropa uniflora is achlorophyllous and is mycoheterotrophic; that is, it utilizes fungi to obtain carbon from the roots of autotrophic plants.
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.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: 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 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
From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1989 VOL. 6, NO.4 - Spring Climbs Rockies Slowly, Colorado Cooler, Conference of Wildflower and Nati...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Monotropa uniflora in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Monotropa uniflora in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Monotropa uniflora
MetadataRecord Modified: 2016-03-04
Research By: TWC Staff