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Indian Pipe


INDIAN PIPE (Monotropa uniflora), a saprophytic herb of the family Pyrolaceae, allied to the heaths, called also corpse plant, American ice-plant and ghost-flower, found in moist, rich woods almost throughout temperate and warm North America and also in the Himalaya mountains and Japan. It is a smooth waxy-white plant, of unusual appearance, which grows on decay ing vegetable matter and is somewhat parasitic on roots. The erect, usually clustered stems, 4 in. to I o in. high, bear small scales representing leaves and terminate in a single nodding flower, about I in. long, blossoming from June to August, fol lowed by a many-seeded capsule which becomes erect in ripening. Occasionally the flower, or more rarely the whole plant, has a pinkish or reddish tinge. All parts of the plant turn blackish in drying. There are two other species of the genus, both north tem perate, one of which, M. Hypopytis, the yellow bird's-nest or pine-sap, with flowers in a drooping cluster, widely distributed in Europe, Asia and North America, occurs in the British Isles.