What is the plant
This fascinating plant (Monotropa uniflora) is definitely one of nature’s weird wonders. Because it has no chlorophyll and doesn’t depend on photosynthesis, this ghostly white plant is able to grow in the darkest of forests. Many people refer to this strange plant as Indian pipe fungus, but it is not a fungus at all – it just looks like one. It is actually a flowering plant, and believe it or not, it is a member of the blueberry family. Each Indian pipe plant consists of one 3- to 9-inch (7.5 to 23 cm.) stem. Although you may notice small scales, no leaves are required because the plant does not photosynthesize. A white or pinkish-white, bell-shaped flower, which appears sometime between late spring and fall, is pollinated by small bumblebees. Once the bloom is pollinated, the “bell” creates a seed capsule that eventually releases tiny seeds into the wind.
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