Sunday, August 7, 2011

Indian PIpes!

Just thought I’d share some pictures of Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora). I found blooming in the woods the other day.  Have you ever seen this unusual flower?  Believe it or not, it’s related to blueberries! 

It’s translucent white sometimes tinged pink and often has black spots. The reason for the lack of color is because it doesn’t have chlorophyll (non-photosynthetic). It grows in rich dense woods where little light hits the forest floor.  Even though it’s bizarre looking, It’s a true flower with leaves, sepals and petals but it’s also a parasite feeding off of beneficial micorrhyzal fungi that grow in the soil.

It’s common name refers to it’s resemblance to the clay pipes used by early Native Americans.  It’s beautiful and ethereal and looks as if it’s made out of glass. 

This is why I love walking in the woods —you just never know what magic you’ll find.

Butterflies 2011 004Butterflies 2011 003

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