Sunday, September 11, 2011

Indian Pipe - Macro Monday/ABC Wednesday (I)


While on vacation at the cottage, I spent a lot of time (too much time), photographing various mushrooms and fungi. I thought this little gem was some king of fungus, but I was wrong.
Click on the pics to enlarge
It's a herbaceous perennial plant (Monotropa uniflora), in the Ericaceae family,
AKA - Indian Pipe, Ice Plant, Fairy Smoke, Ghost Flower, Corpse Plant, Ghost Pipe, Dutchman's Pipe, Eyebright, Convulsion Weed, and Fit Root.


This is one of about 3000 species of non-photosynthetic (i.e. heterotrophic) flowering plants. It's white and doesn't have any chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. (Thanks for that info Wikipedia).
It can grow in very dark environments as on the floor of dense forests, which is exactly where I found it!

For more Macro shots of just about everything,
 click on over to Lisa's Chaos - Macro Monday!

Click on over to ABC WEDNESDAY and see what's happening with the letter I
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53 comments:

Ellie said...

What an unusual flower. I quite like it though.

Kel said...

what fascinating little plants
i first thought they were roses with burned tips and covered in ash

Dimple said...

These are pretty, in an unusual way. I like them!

Inger-M said...

Wow, that is so unusual, but very beautiful! I would have thought it was some kind of fungus, too. Great find and shot!

Kim, USA said...

OMG this plant had all the bad name lol!!! I even like to add a name to this with "white eyeball" hahaha. But seriouslly, I find it very pretty. Good thing you spotted this "mushroom" looks very tiny. And yes thanks for wiki, the word photosynthesis, hmmm I remember that word when I was in elementary? LOL!Thanks for sharing!

Leora said...

Lovely and unusual. What great colors.

LV said...

Thanks so much for sharing this most interesting plant. Never have seen anything like it. It actually is pretty.

em said...

how cool! great shot and great information!

Carletta said...

Now that is unique. I want some. :)
Great shots!

Genie said...

Well, you have blown my husband and me out of the ballpark tonight with these shots. We have seen what we call Indian pipes in the share alongside a creek, but never one with these colors. Ours are just a dull old muted tannish color. These are gorgeous. Thank you so very much for sharing them. Now the two of us are on a mission to find some. Hope you have as nice a week as these photos are beautiful. genie

Teresa said...

Beautiful pictures! That is an amazing little flower you found. I'm so glad you shared all that information with us.

Roan said...

I've never seen anything like it. It's odd, but beautiful!

forgetmenot said...

Karen, Those are amazing!!! So weird, but definitely beautiful. Have a great time with your granddaughter at the zoo. It is twice as much fun when you go with a child--enjoy. Mickie :)

Fotobloggen 2011 said...

interesting plant, never seen any but then again i read that I cannot find it here...
great color and details

Stewart M said...

Hi there - thats some flower. Reminds me of some types of orchids that dont make their own food either! Just steal it from the roots of other plants.

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

siga said...

No words... This looks like science fiction! So cool

Les... said...

mystical, delicate and exotic... great pic! *S*

Twiggy said...

Cool capture!

Halcyon said...

How interesting. I've never seen a plant like this before!

Scott said...

Very cool shots and plant. I have never seen anything like it.

You asked on my blog this weekend which macro I am using. I use the Nikon 105mm micro. Very sharp lens.

pcphotoblog said...

Thanks for sharing this unusual plant. Thought I saw signs of fungi before getting to your explanation! Very cool and Happy Macro Monday.

NatureFootstep said...

nice. I have never seen it so I suppsoe we don´t have it. It looks like it was painted. Beautifully captured by you. :)

LauraX said...

what an awesomely funky plant you found Karen! Great photos:-)

Barbara said...

I've never seen these before. They're so strange and lovely.

Gattina said...

That's a rather fairy flower ! never seen ! beautiful !

Shifan said...

This is the first time that i see this type of flowers.

Birgitta said...

Such unusual flowers! Great photos!

namaki said...

In the mean time, it's beautiful !

Japy said...

That looks to me like a very strange plant. However I love the photos. Greetings.

hip-chick said...

Great pictures. It's not that easy to photograph mushrooms. Thanks for the interesting information also.

Leovi said...

Fabulous flowers, had not ever seen, I love the color.

Gunsside said...

Wow this was beautiful, never seen something like this, great :)

Woody said...

Very educational. This is a curiously attractive parasite! Neat colors and interesting patterns.

We have the phallic-looking red fungi growing in our landscaping that I've never seen before - must be all the rain we're getting.

Kala said...

That is some of the prettiest colored fungi I've ever seen!

Sivinden said...

At first I thought that they weren't real. A very special plant - and so beautiful!

Beyond Zephyr said...

Wow..I haven't seen any thing like this before! Fascinating and beautiful photos.

Rosie@travel-i-tales said...

They look like an artist's attempt at drawing roses. Incredible that they are real flowers.Beautiful shots!
Rosie

Roger Owen Green said...

wow, what an odd flower;
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

VioletSky-Sightlines said...

it is strangely, rather pretty!

Francisca said...

Totally unique and wonderful. And your macro would look fabulous in a frame. Two thumbs up on this one Karen!

Gigi Ann said...

What a fantastic picture of the Indian Pipe. And the Information was quite Interesting also.

Kathy said...

Very interesting plant. Nice photos.

Marianne@Songbird said...

That first shot is great. Couldn't tell what it was if you payed me. Couldn't tell from the second shot either, but that's because I have never heard of that plant. Love your macro shots!

Jo Bryant said...

Wow - beautiful shot - beautiful plant

Carver said...

Very unique and interesting plant. It does almost look like some kind of fungi.

chubskulit said...

I have never seen one like that, so exotic looking. I think that the ghost plat is the perfect name for it lol.

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots of the plant. Not seen before.

Eden said...

My first time to see this plant. Beautiful photos.

photowannabe said...

Spectacular shot of the strange world of fungi.
This is one I have never seen before. Very exotic.

Meryl said...

WOW. How beautiful and unusual (at least to my untrained eye). Great post.

Paula Scott said...

Interesting!!! It is a beautiful-plant? Do we call it plant if it is non-chlorophyllic? I would've spent way too much time doing the same thing you did and I'm glad you did!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Karen girl I wish I could see one of these groupings in real life ! they are awesome and this is a fantastic picture of them: )
Joy

Sandra said...

amazing and I have never seen or heard of this plant before