Indian Pipe Plant: A Ghostly Wild Plant

Indian pipe plants grow in the New Hampshire woods (photo by Virginia Allain)

Learn about This White, Unusual Woodland Plant – Indian Pipe Plants

Walking in the New Hampshire forests, I spotted an odd-looking plant, Later I learned this white, fleshy looking plant was called Indian Pipes. It grows in shady areas where there is lots of leaf mold. It’s a strange, sort of ghostly plant that pushes up through the leaf cover in clumps of bleached white stems. There isn’t really anything that looks like a flower on it. It isn’t green like most plants or brown like shrubs and trees. It doesn’t have the shape of a mushroom or algae.

What is it? Read on down the page to uncover the mysterious details of the Monotropa uniflora also called the Indian Pipes.

This is how the Indian pipe plants look when they first start to emerge. (photo by Virginia Allain)

This is how the Indian pipe plants look when they first start to emerge. (photo by Virginia Allain)

Other Names for INDIAN PIPE plants

The official name is Monotropa uniflora.

It is also called

Ghost Plant, Indian Pipe, Bird’s Nest, or Corpse Plant

See how the old-time clay pipe looks like the Indian Pipe plant. (photo by Virginia Allain)

See how the old-time clay pipe looks like the Indian Pipe plant. (photo by Virginia Allain)

From my photos, you’ll see how the other names like ghost plant and corpse plant were attached to this unique plant. The plant is about 6 to 8 inches tall. It isn’t green like most plants and is actually a wildflower. It’s white.

Bees and flies like the pollen in this plant. It grows in wooded areas and particularly around white pine and hemlocks. The litter on the forest floor creates the right environment for the Indian pipe to grow.

Watch the video to learn the medicinal uses for the plant. There’s another video about the flower with an explanation of how the Indian pipe draws its nutrients from the fungus underground.

Have You Seen the Indian Pipe Plant?

Results of a survey answered by 110 people.

Results of a survey answered by 110 people.

To read more about the strange plant, you’ll find it in books on native or wild medicines like the one shown here.

Advertisements

I'm a retired librarian...photographer, online content creator, genealogist, and writer. My passion is convincing people to preserve their family history and to write about their childhood memories.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in wildflowers
2 comments on “Indian Pipe Plant: A Ghostly Wild Plant
  1. Gail says:

    An old time favorite. Thanks for sharing!

  2. CristineGzr says:

    Lovely photos and informative post. Mine never look so upright or I’ve missed it. They don’t last much more than a few weeks here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: