Indian Pipe

Monotropa uniflora

Monotropa unifloraMonotropa uniflora

Indian pipe is an unusual plant that has no chlorophyll.  It is generally white, but may have a pink coloring.  It is also known as Ghost Plant or Corpse Plant.

Many people assume it is a fungus, but acutally it is a member of the Heath family – it is related to heather and blueberries.  Without chlorphyll it cannot produce it’s own food and must get nutrients by tapping into the mycelia of fungi that have mycorrhizal relationships with trees.  In effect, it is a parasite of both a fungus and a tree.  It is found growing in rich woodland settings.

Indian pipe is found in the Rhododendron Glade at Norfolk Botanical Garden.

Indian Piple (Monotropa uniflora)
Type Perennial Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)
Size 3-10″ tall
Flower white – late summer to fall
Hardy Zones
Native North America

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