Monotropa uniflora

Indian Pipe

Indian Pipe, Photo courtesy Wisconsin State Herbarium and Andrew Meeks
Indian Pipe
Photo courtesy Wisconsin State Herbarium
and Andrew Meeks

Flora, fauna, earth, and sky...
The natural history of the northwoods


Name:

  • Monotropa, from the Latin, "once-turned'', reference to the flowers, which face the ground early in life, and turn straight upward once they begin producing seeds.
  • uniflora, from the Latin, "single flower''
  • Common Name, from
  • Other common names include Corpse Plant, Ghost Flower, Ghost Pipe, Ice Plant, Bird's Nest, American Iceplant, Fairy Smoke

Taxonomy:

  • Kingdom Plantae, the Plants
    • Division Magnoliophyta, the Angiosperms (flowering plants)
      • Class Magnoliopsida, the Dicotyledons
      • Subclass Dilleniidae
        • Order Ericales, the Heaths
          • Family Monotropaceae, the Indianpipe
            • Genus Monotropa, Indianpipe
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 23778
  • Also known as Monotropa brittonii

Description:

  • A waxy white saprophyte of deep forest shade.

Identification:

  • Unmistakable

Distribution:

  • Northern North America, south in mountains.

Habitat:

  • Shade

Fire:

Associates:

History:

  • Root has been traditionally used as a sedative and for various nervous conditions. It was also used externally for inflamed eyes and bunions and warts.

Uses:

  • Safety undetermined; possibly toxic as it contains several glycosides.

Reproduction:

  • Sexually by seed

Propagation:

  • Extremely difficult

Cultivation:

  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3 (average minimum annual temperature -40ºF)
  • Not generally cultivated.

Links:

  • Ghosts of Summer's Woods, a chapter from Hedgemaids and Fairy Candles: The Lives and Lore of North American Wildflowers

Comments:

Valley Internet Company
Return to Home Page
Send Feedback to Webmaster

Last Updated on 26 September, 2002