Index- plants in this Family
Monotropaceae / Indian Pipe
Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)
Indian Pipe is also known as Corpse Plant, Death Plant and Birds Nest.

Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a perennial which can reach 20cm in height (8inches). The plant is saprophytic and the entire plant is white or in some cases pinkish turning black or dark brown with age.
Leaves: No real leaves only scales.
Flowers: The flowers have 5 Regular Parts. They are white sometimes pinkish. Blooms first appear in early summer and continue into late summer. The number of flower parts may vary but there is only a single flower on each stem. The flowers droop at first later becoming erect as the fruit matures.
Habitat: Woods
Range: All of North America.

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Daniel Reed

Touch this plant and it will melt in your hand. It has a ghost like appearance thus the names with refferences to death. The Birds Nest name refers to the tangle of roots. The plant can be dried but turns very dark.

Medical Uses: Both Native American healers and white doctors used this plant at least till the early twentieth century. The juice mixed with water was used as a wash for eye problems. This ophthalmic use was apparently quite common and thought highly effective. Sores on other tinder tissue were also treated with a solution. It was also considered a sedative and antispasmodic and so used to treat fits and convulsions such as occurs in epilepsy. It was considered a good substitute opium in many cases.

Similar Species: Pinesap (M. Hypopithys) grows taller, (to 30cm (12") ) has several flowers on each stem, is usually reddish or yellow and found in acid soil.

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Monocots / One Seed Leaf
Indian Pipe



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