Monotropa uniflora

Common Names: Indian pipe, ghost plant, corpse plant
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Heath family

Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a myco-heterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. The complex relationship that allows this plant to grow also makes propagation difficult. The plant is sometimes completely white but commonly has black flecks and a pale pink coloration. Rare variants may have a deep red color. The stems reach heights of 10 to 30 cm, clothed with small scale-leaves 5 to 10 mm long. The stems bear only a single flower, 10 to 15 mm long with 3 to 8 petals.

Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest. It flowers from early summer to early autumn, often a few days after rainfall.

Edible Notes: The aerial parts of the plant can be eaten raw or cooked. When eaten raw, the plant has a bland taste, but when it is cooked, the plant tastes a bit like asparagus. I would caution eating this plant in anything but small amounts, as it contains a glycoside which can be poisonous if eaten in quantity.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings