Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)
Growing in a dense mixed hardwood/coniferous forest understory.
Monotropa uniflora is a mycoheterotrophic, nonphotosynthetic plant. It is unable to produce its own energy via photosynthesis, so it turns to fungi (it has a preference for Russula) which are mycorrhizal with trees. Being nonphotosynthetic might at first appear to give the plant a disadvantage, but as a result, M. uniflora is capable of growing in dense understories with lower light and higher mulch levels--habitats that are not suited for autotrophic plants.
''Monotropa uniflora'', also known as the Ghost Plant, Indian Pipe, or Corpse Plant is a herbaceous perennial plant, formerly classified in the family Monotropaceae, but now included within the Ericaceae. It is native to temperate regions of Asia, North America and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas. It is generally scarce or rare in occurrence.
Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic,.. more