Monotropa uniflora


Indian pipe (Monotropa uniflora) is a native herbaceous perennial species in the Monotropaceae or Ericaceae. Other common names include Iceplant, ghostplant, corpse plant, bird’s nest, Convulsion root, eyebright, and broomrape. Plants have an odor of foot powder and I have in past years caught that smell while sheeting. The plants are saprophytic or now some sources say parasitic but either way it is non-chlorophyllous with scale-like leaves. The inflorescences are terminal and a solitary recurved flower. The perfect and regular flowers have zero to five sepals, four or five petals, and eight or ten stamens. The flower parts are the same color as the plant. The ovary is superior and the fruit is a capsule. After flowering the flower stalk becomes erect and the whole plant turns black. Already have found several clumps in the same general area on Allen Acres where it has been for the past 15 years or so. Indian pipe root is a tonic, sedative, nervine, and antispasmodic. It has also been employed in febrile diseases, as a sedative and diaphoretic. The powder has been employed in instances of restlessness, pains, nervous irritability, etc. Lots of info on line about medicinal use of this plant. Check out St Vitus Dance disease.