Monotropa uniflora, Indian Pipes

Monotropa uniflora
photos by Dennis Kalma

Scientific Name:
Common Name:
ITIS Number:
NRCS Symbol:
  Monotropa uniflora L.
Indian Pipes
Monotropaceae (indian pipes)

Plant: 10-20 cm tall, waxy-white, growing singly or in clumps; turns black upon drying

Flower: solitary, nodding, odorless; sepalus usually none; petals 4 or 6, broadly oblong, separate to base but forming tube

Leaves: none, reduced to thin bracts on stem

Habitat: rich shady woods

Range: Newfoundland to British Columbia; south to California; east to Florida

Similar Species: Monotopa hypopithys, Pinesap usually has several flowers clustered at the end of each stem and the entire plant is usually tan-yellow

Notes: these plants are saprophytic, feeding off decaying plant material in the soil; they have no chlorophyll. They are sometimes placed in the family Pyrolaceae (wintergreens).

    Monotropa uniflora flower