Monday, August 18, 2008

14. Indian Pipe

Here, at last, is O.'s find: Monotropa uniflora, or Corpse Plant, as it is also known. I might have missed this one, thinking is was a fungus instead of a plant, and, indeed it is a saphrophytic plant, feeding on decaying organic matter. The flower nods at first, then turns upright in fruit,
and eventually turns black. It also turns black when picked (which I read but also saw when O. originally brought his discovery home, but forgot to photograph). The stems are scaly, and the entire plant is waxy. Part of the Heath Family. If you can see what surrounds the Indian Pipe in the lower photo, you'll know why O. now sports a nice rash on his chin.

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