Spermatophytes (seed plants): Angiosperms (flowering plants): Eudicots: Core Eudicots: Asterids: Ericales
Dig deeper at SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria.
This is the familiar "ghost pipe" of our forests, a saprophytic herb without chlorophyll. Read more at Vascular Plants of North Carolina.
Its short, stubby roots contain fungi that extend in a web-like way through dead rotting leaves and connect to the roots of conifers. The conifers provide sugar, which the fungi carry to the Indian Pipe plant. So it's really a parasite, not a saprophyte. Read more at the Botanical Society of America.
When distinguishing Monotropa species using morphological characters, it is important to take all characters into account including the habitat where the individual was seen. Read more in Reevaluating the species status of the Southern Ghost Pipe, Monotropa brittonii (Keesling, 2020).
INCLUDED WITHIN Floristic Synthesis of North America. BONAP (Kartesz, 2021)
INCLUDED WITHIN Flora of North America
SYNONYMOUS WITH VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968) 145-03-001:
Monotropa uniflora FAMILY Ericaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Manual of the Southeastern Flora (Small, 1933, 1938)
Indian Pipes, Ghost-flower, Common Ghost Pipes
To see larger pictures, click or hover over the thumbnails.
Harry Davis hld947_ind_001f
May Greenville County SC
Jones Gap State Park
Flowers solitary, nodding, urn-shaped, the same color as the stem, per Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern Appalachians (Horn, Cathcart, Hemmerly, & Duhl, 2005).
COMPARE Indian Pipes, Pinesap and Pygmy Pipes
JK Marlow jkm180825_4149
August Pickens County SC
Petals white to pinkish or reddish, base slightly saccate, per Flora of North America.
JK Marlow jkm180825_4151
August Pickens County SC
Stamens included; anthers horizontal at anthesis. Stigma broadly funnelform, per Flora of North America.
JK Marlow jkm220926_0002
September Spartanburg County SC
Nectaries are paired at stamen bases and point downward away from the flower opening, per Reevaluating the species status of the Southern Ghost Pipe, Monotropa brittonii (Keesling, 2020).
JK Marlow jkm211018_4389
October Pickens County SC
As the fruit matures, the stem straightens and the capsule is erect, per Wild Flowers of NC, 2nd edition (Justice, Bell, & Lindsey, 2005).
Floristic Synthesis of North America. BONAP (Kartesz, 2021)
Flora of North America
Manual of the Southeastern Flora (Small, 1933, 1938)
Habitat: In a wide variety of moist to dry forests, per Weakley's Flora
Native to the Carolinas & Georgia
CLICK HERE to see a map, notes, and images from Weakley's Flora of the Southeastern US.
Click here to see a map showing all occurrences known to SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria. (Zoom in to see more detail.)
Sepals absent, apparently (?)
10 stamens (8-14?)
TO LEARN MORE about this plant, look it up in a good book!
- Atlantic Coastal Plain Wildflowers (Nelson, 2006) p130
- Great Smoky Mountains Wildflowers (Campbell, Hutson, Sharp, & Hutson, 1962) p094
- Guide to the Wildflowers of SC (Porcher & Rayner, 2001) p207
- Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (Newcomb, 1977) p172
- Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Georgia (Chafin, 2007) p229
- Wildflowers of the Atlantic Southeast (Cotterman, Waitt, & Weakley, 2019) p161
- Wildflowers of the Carolina Lowcountry (Porcher, 1995) p150
- Wildflowers of the Eastern United States (Duncan & Duncan, 1999) p061
- Wild Flowers of NC, 2nd edition (Justice, Bell, & Lindsey, 2005) p173
- Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Georgia (Chafin, 2016) p170
- Wildflowers of Tennessee (Carman, 2005) p100
- Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern Appalachians (Horn, Cathcart, Hemmerly, & Duhl, 2005) p128
- Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont (Spira, 2011) p408
- Wildflowers of the Southern Mountains (Smith, 1998) p119
- Wildflowers of the Sandhills Region (Sorrie, 2011) p127
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