Boo! Meet the Ghost Plant

Scientific name: Monotropa uniflora

Other Common Names: Indian Pipe, Corspe Plant, Ice Plant, Fairy Smoke

ghost plant, indian pipe, monotropa uniflora

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The ghost plant is aptly named for its ghostly white appearance. The flowers are white because it does not contain any chlorophyll. It does not need sunlight for its development. Rather, the ghost plant is a parasitic plant; it gets its energy from the fungi from nearby trees. Adding to the eeriness and spookiness of the plant, the ghost plant lives in dark, shady environments. They can be found growing in the deepest and darkest forests.

Despite its lack of branches and leaves, the ghost plant is not a fungus. It’s a herbaceous perennial plant that can reach a height of 4-10 inches. The pipe-shaped plant needs rich, fertile soil, especially with decaying matter, for it to thrive. It is often found near dead tree stumps.

Besides the characteristic white colouring, the waxy flowers can also be identified by the black flecks commonly found around the petals. The droopy flowers can have anywhere from 3 to 8 petals. The stems are 10-30cm in height and can only bear a single flower at a time. The flowers bloom from early summer to early autumn.

The ghost plant is native to temperate areas in Asia, North America and northern South America. And as much as you may want to pick one of these flowers, it’s highly recommended that you leave them alone.  The plants are fragile and will turn black and die once picked. Besides, these plants are considered rare. Leave them alone and give other people a chance to see them.

Fun Flower Facts about the Ghost Plant

  • Native Americans used the sap to treat eye infections
  • some say, when cooked, the plant is edible and taste a bit like asparagus
  • once the flowers are pollinated, they turn upright and the plants turn brown

About Connor Lowry

I love flowers! I enjoy writing about them as well as gardening. Mostly I love finding new and unique flower gardening ideas I encourage you to post regularly on this blog, and send in guest blogs or ideas for new blogs as well. New and exciting blogs are always welcome I intend to post a lot of interesting facts and fun stuff about flowers, as well as info on many varieties of flowers.
This entry was posted in Unusual Flowers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Boo! Meet the Ghost Plant

  1. Van says:

    Fine way of telling, and good article to take information concerning
    my presentation subject, which i am going to deliver in university.


  2. Angie says:

    I took a few pictures of these flowers while camping in Pictured Rocks in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We thought they were a strange type of fungus. It’s cool to find out the truth. Thank you for the information!


  3. Pingback: Weird & Wacky! The Hooker’s Lips Plant! | Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Presents…

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