INDIAN PIPE, A Most Unusual Plant (WPC: Unusual)

While in a walk in the woods of Borderland State Park in early July, my eyes were caught by waxy white flowers not taller than 4 inches off the ground. It was the first time that I ever saw such a plant. They grew in the shady undergrowth of the forests and was likely to be obscured by decaying leaves on the ground.

When I looked it up on Google, I was first given the very useful answer – Plant. The more helpful sites, however, identified it as Indian Pipe, also known as Ghost Plant, also known as Corpse Plant. I thought it was a kind of fungi, but it turned out to be a plant, in the blueberry family at that. The plant has no chlorophyll and does not need light to grow, apparently. Thus, it can grow in the dark. According to one source, Tom Volk’s Fungus of the Month for October 2002, the presence of this plant indicates that the area is very rich with nutrients. Venerable Wikipedia says that “it is generally scarce or rare in occurrence”.

Check out the sources for interesting information about this plant.

Thank you!

WPC:  Unusual



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