One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant with a yellowish stem that bears a single drooping flower, native to North America and northeastern Asia. It lacks chlorophyll and obtains nourishment via symbiotic fungi in its roots.
- ‘The Indian pipe is a saprophyte, living chiefly on the decaying roots of other plants, particularly trees.’
- ‘The flowers are inodorous, and appear from June until September; their resemblance to a pipe has given rise to the names Indian pipe or Pipe-plant.’
- ‘The Indian pipe has also been called Ice-Plant, Ghost-Plant, and Corpse-Plant.’
- ‘They appear to be parasitic on the fungi as no benefit to the fungus from its association with the Indian pipe has been discerned.’
- ‘Because Indian pipe is an indirect parasite of the autotrophic plant, it is sometimes referred to as an epiparasite.’
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