Species: Indian Pipe( Monotropa uniflora), also ghost plant, corpse plant
Range: Northern states and
southern provinces of
Climate, elevation: Higher elevations, moist
Local Occurrence: North Baker Lake,
Habitat preferences: Grows in rich moist woods, in
Plant strategy type/successional stage: Lacking chlorophyll, Monotropa uniflora cannot photosynthesize. It instead acquires carbon-rich photosynthates in another way: from a nearby tree, via a shared fungal root-association.
Associated species: Hypopitys monotropa, Pinesap, Ericacaea(Heath Family)
May be collected as: seed
Collection restrictions or guidelines: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds.
Seed germination : Fungal-induced seed germination is a phenomenon characteristic of mycorrhizal plants that produce dust-like seeds with only minimal nutritional reserves. In such systems, fungi trigger germination and/or subsidize development.
Seed life: Seeds have short shelf life planted in Autumn-Spring
Propagation recommendations: From seed winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse. Sow the seed in leaf litter under trees where host plant occurs. Monotropa uniflora has delicate root systems that resist transplanting.
Soil or medium requirements: Moist soil
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost): The plant roots also have a symbiotic relationship with a particular species of soil fungi (pH dependant) to supplement its diet. It is difficult to grow these outside the natural environment in which they were found.
Care requirements after installed: Requires consistently moist soil, do not let dry out between waterings
Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan: Grows to 12”, perennial
2. Mathews, D. (1990). Cascade-Olympic Natural History. Raven Editions.
3. Armstrong, M. (1915). Field Book of Western Flowers. C.P. Putman’s Sons
6. Molecular Ecology
Volume 14 Issue 5
Data Compiled by Maura Shelton April 13, 2006