Fresh AfieldMore posts

Ghost in the Woods

Oct 31, 2007

You could say this is a stretch, but it is Halloween and a perfect time to mention one of Missouri’s spooky little plants. The Indian pipe, sometimes called “ghost flower” is a rootless little thing. Lacking chlorophyll, the plant depends on the fungi to carry nutrients from nearby trees.

indian pipeIt grows in North, South and Central American forests and those of China, Japan and the Himalayas too. That’s a pretty scattered spread for something without roots or chlorophyll. I’ve only seen it when it really looks ghostly at the time it flowers. But after seeing a photo of what they look like in the late autumn woods (brown, heads up) I’m going to have to keep my eyes open.

The thing that’s so strangely wonderful about this plant is the reminder of the whole hidden realm of fungi, a web connecting things underground that we don’t see, don’t think of, yet makes all sorts of life possible—including ghostly plants like these.

Comments

Good accessory to use for a pirate costume this Halloween!

Oh, they look rather cute :) Interesting plant indeed, a plant without chlorophyll...

Yes, a bit of a stretch but that is a very interesting plant.

Recent Posts

Discover Paddling, Discover Nature

Aug 17, 2016

Have you ever wished you could float silently through the woods, sneaking up on wildlife for a hunt, a birding expedition, or just a better photo? There is a way, and it affords you a lot more than just a closer look.

Viceroy caterpillar

A Cruddy Looking Success Story

Aug 15, 2016

With the Olympics wrapping up soon, sports enthusiasts and candid viewers alike have been plugged in and watching the next big event.  In nature's game of survival, there too are a variety of “headlines” that can amaze and inspire. 

New footbridges improve public access

Inquiring minds want to know…

Jul 25, 2016

Inquiring minds want to know what is going on with the renovations at Duck Creek this summer. Below is a description of items that have been accomplished and other plans that will move forward as the summer progresses.