The Ghost Plant (Monotropa uniflora)

Hiking in the Nescopeck State Park earlier this week, we found this beautiful Ghost Plant, aka Indian Pipe poking up through the leaves and needles of a dense stand of Eastern Hemlock Trees, near the Nescopeck Creek. I have seen these in Michigan as well. It is a very unusual plant because it contains no chlorophyll, hence, no green color. It gets its energy from underground fungi, which are parasites on the roots of trees. They are found all over Eastern North America and in temperate climates around the world. There are about 3,000 different species of non-chlorophyll plants. This website, but University of Wisconsin Botanist, Tom Volk, gives an excellent description to the life cycle of the Ghost Plant.

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