Because of its ghostly white appearance, some people may confuse Indian Pipe for a fungus. This species belongs to a small group of saprophytic flowering plants that have abandoned photosynthesis. A similar species, Monotropa hypopithys (Pinesap), also occurs in Illinois, but it is less common. Unlike Indian Pipe, Pinesap produces several nodding flowers on each stem; these flowers are arranged in a short raceme. Pinesap is more likely to be tinted different colors (including bright red), and it is often pubescent.