Forest ghosts

Indian pipe pushing up through forest floor debris

I spotted patches of white lumps while on a walk a few days ago, and today took my camera on a return trip. They’re pushing up through moss and debris on the forest floor. They almost look like bones, they’re so smooth and white—perhaps a very small boneyard?

Indian pipe

Or perhaps Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora). It lacks chlorophyll—hence the dramatic white colour—and gets its food by parasitizing mycorrhizal fungi in the forest floor.

I’ve seen it before, but never so much of it and never such dense patches. I’ll have to come back again and see how it develops.

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