Monotropa uniflora L. - Indian Pipes

Monotropa uniflora plant

Family - Ericacea, Monotropaceae, Pyrolaceae

Stems:

N/A

Leaves:

N/A

Inflorescence:

N/A

Flowers:

Monotropa uniflora flower

Flowering - June - November.

Habitat - Upland woods, sandy woods, mesic hammocks and scrub, pinelands.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This easily recognized and popular species can be found throughout Alabama and is probably found in every county of the state. No other species in the state resembles this saprophytic plant. The stems and flowers are bright white when they first emerge and then turn blackish with age. The single flower of each stem nods but the fruits become erect.
Another species, M. hypopithys L., has golden yellow to red stems and is smaller in size.
The genus name Monotropa derives from the Greek "mono" meaning "one, single" and "tropo" meaning "turn, change" referring to the way the flowering stems nod to one side.
The species epithet uniflora derives from the Latin "uni" meaning "one" and "flor(a)" meaning "a flower" becasue of the single flower per stem.

Alabama Distribution:

Monotropa uniflora map

Photographs taken in Alley Spring Park, MO., 10-2-03, and in Conecuh National Forest, AL., 10-24-04.


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