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Monotropa uniflora

 
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Location: California / Oregon / Washington
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I came across this while camping in the Cougar Reservoir area of the Willamette National Forest and was berry interested in finding out more of it when I got back to the internet. It was really easy to identify because I guess everybody thinks it looks like some sort of ghost plant. It's so cool! I've only done a little bit of reading on it, but I am absolutely fascinated with this plant/not plant? It doesn't photosynthesis, so what exactly would it be? I read it's a myco-heterotroph, so it has a symbiotic relationship with fungi -- is there a specific fungi it has this relationship with?

Regardless, I think this organism is not only interesting-lookin', its process of life seems to be just as or even more interesting. How cool!
 
Mother Tree
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Wikipedia seems to think that it's parasitic and "associates with a small range of fungal hosts, all of them members of Russulaceae".

This page says that they are "parasitic on fungi hosts that are specifically connected to the roots of coniferous trees."

Does that info fit with where you found it?

I've always been fascinated by these kinds of plants ever since I encountered broomrape.
 
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I know them as Indian pipes here

here's a good article explaining the tree/fungi/indian pipe relationship

http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/oct2002.html

 
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