supposing that you're talking about Monotropa uniflora, my understanding is that it's a parasite of fungus in a mycorrhizal relationship with conifers. so there are at the very least three organisms involved, and likely several more than that. which is to say that it's probably fairly difficult.
it's certainly possible to inoculate a tree's roots with mycorrhizal fungus from established trees. at that point, seeds from the Indian Pipe might germinate. maybe.
I tend to see it where Russulas are common, which is pretty common in the national forest close to me. it's also a fairly reliable indicator for matsutake.
is there a particular use for it that interests you, or do you just like the plant? it always seemed sort of creepy to me, in an appealing way.
Plants For A Future says Indian Pipe can be cooked and eaten and has good medicinal properties, and even if it ends up being not particularly appetizing for humans I figured between that and Bear Corn, they might make good natural pannage for pigs if they end up not being too much work to establish!
On the same subject, I've often stumbled across mentions of tuckahoe fungi at the bases of pine trees. The stuff seems to be very nutritious and was apparently used widely enough that the name Tuckahoe is fairly ubiquitous across the old eastern half of the country, but unfortunately I've never found any information on how that might be propagated either! If anybody has any ideas about that, it'd certainly be interesting to hear about!
Indian pipe is ubiquitous in my forest. I didn't know that it had fungal connections (but really, I should have, cause, what doesn't). Yes Tel, there are lots of Russulas. My point is that they don't produce enough biomass (above ground) to feed much of anything, and where I am, I think it's only in the month of July.
Just my observations.
We cannot change the waves of expansion and contraction, as their scale is beyond human control, but we can learn to surf. Nicole Foss @ The Automatic Earth
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