A white, scapose, succulent plant growing usually in clusters from a mass of matted, brittle roots, attached to partially decayed organic matter in the soil; stems 4 to 10 inches high, erect, each with a solitary nodding, terminal, inodorous, oblong-campanulate flower, one-half to 1 inch long; the fruit, which is a five-celled, many-seeded capsule becoming erect; sepals two to four, deciduous; petals four to five (rarely six), puberulent within, white or slightly pinkish, somewhat longer than the stamens, which are usually ten in number; ovary ovoid, pointed, narrowed into the short, thick style and funnelform stigma.

In moist, rich woods, Anticosti to Florida west to Washington and California. Flowering from June to August.

Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum

Plate 152

B. Indian Pipe; Corpse Plant   Monotropa uniflora

B. Indian Pipe; Corpse Plant - Monotropa uniflora

The Indian Pipe, or Corpse Plant, as it is frequently known, is one of the few flowering plants which possess a saprophytic habit, and is in consequence devoid of green leaves or green color in the stems. The flowers are said to be inodorous but I have usually noticed a peculiar faint odor to fresh flowers. The species of Pinesap (Hypopitys) and most of the members of the Broom Rape family also have the same habit, although many of them are pink, yellow or brown in color.

Photograph by George W. Kellogg

Photograph by George W. Kellogg

Figure XXI - Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora Linnaeus);one-half natural size