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The Odd and Beautiful Indian Pipe

Ever come across something odd in your yard? How about something that looks strangely like candy canes? No, Santa’s elves haven’t come early. This is actually a very unique native plant called indian pipe or ghost plant (Monotropa uniflora). It’s oftentimes solid white or can have reddish pink tint such as this specimen. It blooms in the fall with a single bloom on each stem. Unlike most plants, indian pipe has no chlorophyll so it cannot make food from sunlight. Rather, it parasitizes fungi living on the forest floor. We will never cease to be amazed at the diversity of our state’s flora and fauna! To learn more, visit or…/mycotrophic/monotropa_uniflora.shtml