Monotropa uniflora, Indian Pipes
photos by Dennis Kalma
|Monotropa uniflora L.
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).