corpse plant

Indian pipes (monotropa uniflora)

Indian pipes, ghost pipes, corpse plant, or ghost plant? Whatever you know this plant as, it remains to be a curious specimen. This herbaceous plant is often mistaken for some kind of fungi, but is in fact a flowering plant. As its name implies, each stem has a single flower head with semi-transparent petals. This plant never ceases to amaze me! 👻👻👻

Monotropa uniflora

Ghost Plant, Indian Pipe, Corpse Plant

I love Monotropa uniflora. Why? Because it doesn’t fit in. While classified as a type of flowering plant, it displays mico-heterotrophy, in which a plant gets all of its energy through parasitism of a fungi. As you can obviously tell, it has no chlorophyll. It commonly grows among the roots of beech trees.

anonymous asked:

Poetry recs? Like your absolute absolute favourites

Okay these are the ones that made me die a little

The Apex Signs:

Aries: Something old. Something without teeth or eyes, dragging its great tendrils along the ocean floor, trawling for the corpses of leviathans. 

Taurus: Something fast. Something hidden by the dust storms. Something with wings and paws and talons and a beak. A golden blur from a rising savannah sun. 

Gemini: Something drawn to the sites of naval battles. Hardened, twisted shells adorned with the eyes of dead sailors. Casualties of war pressed into grim pearls.

Cancer: Something that looks like a hen. Something that disguises itself among the others in the coop. Rotten eggs. A second, gaping maw.

Leo: Something with a sting worse than death. A mane of quills. Pellets of bone and hair. The king of the arid mountains. 

Virgo: Something that sits just below the water. Long flexible antennae flashing to mimic the dancing of fireflies. Whiplike, threshing tentacles covered in stinging barbs. 

Libra: Something pure white. Great wings and soft fur host to intoxicating spores. A great proboscis for feeding on sleeping giants. Thousands of lidless, orange eyes.

Scorpio: Something slow and heavy. Powerful arms terminate in claws meant for digging. Something that hates the corpse-eaters. Something that plants seeds atop the unburied. 

Ophiuchus: Something like a tree stump, dragging itself along the ground on strong, gnarled roots. Following large prey until it dies of exhaustion, and replanting itself.

Sagittarius: Something fragile and light. Something that drifts with the wind on gaseous bladders, protected by its own noxious cloud. 

Capricorn: Something pale and hungry. Something that feeds off trash and the insects attracted to it. Something far worse than garbage and flies.

Aquarius: Something with scales and a mane of colorful feathers. Something that hunts in packs, sharing moisture from kills. 

Pisces: Something colossal. Wings like a thunderstorm and talons like massive fishhooks. Migrating from pole to pole, catching whales for their young. 


Appalachian Summer, 2018, Volume Nine: Indian Pipe. Not all of the wildflowers growing in Appalachia’s old forests generate food from photosynthesis. Some lack the chlorophyll to synthesize sugar from carbon dioxide and water and instead survive as parasites, living off the hard work of other organisms in their environment to obtain life-sustaining energy. Rising from early summer to autumn like a drooping zombie from its leafy crypt, Indian pipe (Monotropa uniflora) steals its energy from mycorrhizal fungi that originally obtained it from vascular plants. Little wonder that this translucent perennial herb is often referred to as the ghost plant or the corpse plant. Indian pipe’s stunted leaves grow like scales from a flowering stalk, which produces a single pendant flower. The flower becomes erect as its fruit matures and disperses its seeds. Despite its ghostly appearance, this shade-loving parasite is one of the loveliest and most fragile treasures of Appalachia’s rich, moist forests. The plant held a special fascination for Emily Dickinson, who wrote of it:

“That without suspecting it you should send me the preferred flower of life, seems almost supernatural, and the sweet glee that I felt at meeting it, I could confide to none–I still cherish the clutch with which I bore it from the ground when a wondering child, an unearthly booty, and maturity only enhances mystery, never decreases it.”



We’re officially on bloom watch for our 6th Corpse Flower, aka “Li’l Stinker.” Botanical curators moved the stinky plant to the Conservatory today, and created a display featuring two other Amorphophallus titanum plants in different life stages: the corm (brown lumpy seedling thing) and leaf (freckly palm tree thing). 

Currently only 35.5 inches tall, Li’l Stinker is on track to be smaller than most Corpse Flowers (some can grow over 6 ft. tall). However, it IS taller than Li’l Sebastian, by a whole 3.5 inches. So that’s something.

Follow on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook channels for the latest on when this unpredictable plant might bloom. While you wait, relive our 2014 Corpse Flower bloom.


Botanical curators transport The Huntington’s 6th Corpse Flower to the Conservatory, where it will remain on view to visitors until the event of it’s flowering. For more information about the Amorphophallus titanum, head to


It looks like this guy is growing a patio umbrella (top), but that’s actually a titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum, also known as a corpse plant or corpse flower, 2nd photo) about to bloom. It’s the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world (it can reach a height of ten feet) and it’s called corpse flower because, like other gigantic flowers that grow in Sumatra (Rafflesia, for example) it exudes a rotting meat odor to attract the flies that pollinate it. Amorphophallus blooms just once every 7-10 years; its flower lasts just 24 hours and, if fertilized, produces hundreds of orange fruits at the bloom’s base (3rd photo). The bloom is succeeded by a small tree which is actually a single branching leaf up to 20 feet tall (bottom photo).

That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
—  T.S. Eliot “The Wasteland”

Small sketch of Ibunduur the plant zombie and a birb! Ibun used to be an Orrian wizard who lost his body while messing up with forbidden magic, then hundreds of years later Wooch found his soul, went full Frankenstein and made a sylvari-like body with a human skeleton base for the soul to accomodate.

Ibun actually has a terrible personality so Wooch got him a raven chick to make him a bit more compassionate. It only helped a little, if at all, and the raven is Ibun’s partner in crime now.