Monday, July 28, 2008

Pinesap, Monotropa hypopithys

This little treat was growing along Trail 2 at the Indiana Dunes State Park. Only a few colonies were observed. Like Indian Pipe and Coralroot Orchids, it's a saprophyte, so it tends to emerge after heavy rains in mid to late summer, especially in oak woods with that wonderfully aromatic rotting leaf litter. Monotropa = one turn... hypopithys = growing under Pines. This plant is sometimes infused with red color, especially in the stem. So cool!

1 comment:

Brad said...

This is a neat little saprophyte. I have read that plants emerging early in the year tend to be reddish, and those that emerge later in the year tend to be pale yellow. I have encountered this species with high frequency over the last week in west-central Michigan, and the fresh plants are all pale yellow. I have seen the red plants, too, and will have to look back to see if I can determine the days I encountered those plants.