Mariton: Indian Pipes

July 20, 2018

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Indian Pipes on the South Fox Trail

Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora) are up and blooming at Mariton right now.  This wild flower lacks chlorophyll and taps into soil mycorrhiza  to get nourishment. This makes it a saprophyte instead of a parasite.  Because of its translucent white appearance, it is also known as Corpse Plant.  Indian Pipe may look like some sort of fungus, but other than its lack of chlorophyll it is a fully functioning plant.  The flowers have pollen producing stamens and and it has ovaries in the pistil, like most flowers.  And like most flowers this plant produces seeds.  This cluster of Indian Pipe is very interesting.  I usually only see one or two, and rarely see a group of several flowers like this one.