Corpse Plant

Corpse Plant

Monotropa uniflora

Also called the ghost plant, Indian pipe or corpse plant, is a perennial wildflower named from its shape and its pure, pale white colour. Unlike most other plants, this species does not produce chlorophyll, the green pigment used for photosynthesis. As a result, it is completely white (including its stem and scale-like “leaves”) and non-photosynthetic. It obtains energy through myco-heterotrophy — a relationship where plants obtain food through parasitism rather than photosynthesis. This plant relies on a large network of roots and fungi to “steal” energy from surrounding plants.

This fine specimen was observed in the Morgan Arboretum.

Little known fact – the poet, Emily Dickinson, called the Indian pipe “the preferred flower of life.” In a letter to Mabel Todd, she confides, “I still cherish the clutch with which I bore it from the ground when a wondering child, and unearthly booty, and maturity only enhances the mystery, never decreases it.”

EXIF data

  • Taken: 16 August, 2018
  • Camera: DSC-RX10M3
  • Focal length: 177.86mm
  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Shutter speed: 1/50s
  • ISO: 1600

Copyright ©

All images are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 CA) License … which really just means that you are very welcome to share and use any of these images, but for non-commercial purposes only and you may not alter them. You should also show attribution (and a link to the original if using them on a website). Please respect the copyright and tell me what you are using and how.
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2018-08-28T13:10:06+00:00Thursday, August 16, 2018|

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