Wikijunior:Summer Flowers of Northern New England/Monotropa uniflora

 
 
Indian Pipe
(Monotropa uniflora)
Monotropa uniflora.jpg
Monotropa.jpg
Description:
Indian Pipe is an all-white plant with a single flower nodding at the end of the stem. The reason this plant is all white is because it has no chlorophyll ('klor-uh-fill). Chlorophyll is the stuff inside a plant that helps turn sunlight into food for the plant. It also gives plants their green color. Indian Pipe has tiny little leaves that look like scales on the stem. It grows no more than about 10 inches tall. Sometimes you might see one all by itself, and other times you might find several clumped together. Indian Pipe grows in shady areas like forests. Since it doesn't need sunlight, it can grow in darker places than most other plants.

Quick Facts:
If Indian Pipe doesn't have any chlorophyll, how can it get food? The answer is that Indian Pipe is a parasite (pair-uh-site). It gets its energy from a fungus that grows on the roots of trees. The funny thing about that is that the fungus doesn't have chlorophyll either, and it gets its energy from the trees! If you think about it, Indian Pipe is stealing energy that was stolen from a tree!

Monotropa uniflora and moss.jpg
Last modified on 7 July 2010, at 18:36