Indianpipe – Wild Weeds

Wild Weeds – Weed of the Month


Monotropa uniflora


white fungus like plant

Indianpipe, also known as Ghost plant or Death plant, is an herbaceous perennial wildflower that can sometimes be mistaken for a fungi. This plant does not contain chlorophyll and it not photosynthetic, therefore all parts of the plant are white and translucent. Indianpipe is a myci-heterotrophic species which means it feeds by parasitizing underground fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees. The fungus is also necessary for the seeds to germinate.

This plant has a five petal flower that emerges pendulous, or nodding over, typically blooming in November. As the plant matures and the anthers and stigma form entirely the flower becomes perpendicular to the stem and erect ones the seeds are ready to disperse. Stems may appear in clusters or solitary in full sun to heavy shade. You’ll find this plant in mixed temperate hardwood forests and scrub, especially in thick leaf litter and lichens.

Learn more about the plant characteristics here:

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Posted: January 1, 2023

Category: Agriculture, Conservation, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Forests, Horticulture, Natural Resources, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, Wildlife
Tags: Natural Resources, NFLAG, Wild Weeds

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