An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide –

Archive for July 13, 2011

Indian Pipe

The very first Indian pipes are starting to poke up through the forest floor.  Lacking chlorophyll, this flowering plant cannot make its own food, but instead is parasitic and relies on  getting energy from fungi  under the ground that , in turn, derive their energy from the  trees they are connected to. You can tell if a flower has been pollinated by Indian pipe’s position.   Prior to pollination, the flower head bends down towards the ground; after pollination, its stem straightens, and the flower faces skyward.