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Friday, October 03, 2008

Parasitism, again

Indian pipe flowers

This is a photo of Indian Pipe, Monotropa uniflora.

Indian Pipe is a flowering plant, and there are flowers on the plant in this photo. Almost all flowering plants have chlorophyll, a green pigment. This plant does not, and it does not carry out photosynthesis. Hence, it needs to get its energy some way. The Wikipedia article on the plant says that it is a parasite, living on underground fungi, which surprised me. Fungi are often parasites on flowering plants. Well, why not the reverse, once in a while?

We found this along a hiking trail in the Beaverhead National Forest, in Montana, USA.

Thanks for reading, and looking.

3 comments:

Keetha said...

Oh wow - - - that is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Matthew Tietje said...

Amazing! I never would have guessed that such a thing existed. God & His creativity, huh?

Martin LaBar said...

Indeed. Thanks for commenting, both of you. If you think that this plant is weird, look at the video that I linked to in my September 29th post.