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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.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers


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