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

MDC Director Bob Ziehmer and members of the Conservation Commision perform the ground breaking ceremony for the new Busch Shooting Range

Construction on the new Busch Shooting Range has begun

Jun 07, 2016

The new shooting range at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area just took a huge step closer to becoming a reality.  The first dirt has been turned and construction is under way!

The Kids Who Were Afraid of Snakes

Feb 11, 2016

Twin Pines’ Naturalists bring a slithering sign of summer to Willow Springs elementary on a cold winter’s day.

Fly Tying

First Flies

Feb 03, 2016

There's something very special about the first fly you ever tie. It won't be your best, and it might not be your worst, but chances are it will be your favorite.