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Monotropaceae: Indian Pipe Family Plant Identification Characteristics.

Monotropaceae
Plants of the Indian Pipe Family

      The plants of the Indian Pipe family are saprophytes, meaning that they have no chlorophyll and they feed on dead organic matter in the soil. They are often white, yellow, brownish, or even candy-striped red and white. There are 2 to 6 separate sepals, 3 to 6 petals, sometimes united, and 6 to 12 stamens. The ovary is positioned superior and consists of 4 to 6 united carpels (syncarpous) forming an equal number of chambers. It matures as a capsule. Worldwide, there are 12 genera and 30 species. North American genera are listed below. The Indian Pipe family is now considered a subfamily of the Heath Family. Be sure to read about other plants lacking chlorophyll in the Broomrape and Orchid families, plus Cuscuta in the Morning Glory Family.

Key Words: Saprophytic plants with regular flowers.

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Monotropa hypopitys. Pine Sap.

Monotropa hypopitys. Pine Sap.

Monotropa hypopitys. Pine Sap.

Monotropa hypopitys. Pine Sap.

Pterospora andromedea. Pine Drops.

Pterospora andromedea. Pine Drops.

Foraging the Mountain West
Foraging the Mountain West

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Indian Pipe Family pictures
at PlantSystematics.org.


Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
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Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Participating
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Foraging the
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Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Botany
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