08 August 2009

Ghost plant...ooo....

I found a cool little plant which I think I've only seen in my field guide before this. It's called an Indian pipe or Ghost plant. Well, I'll let you read the description below:

The Indian Pipe plant or Ghost plant is a forest floor dwelling plant that feeds upon a parasitic fungus which in turn feeds off the roots of a spruce tree. This interrelationship gives the Ghost Plant some interesting qualities. It contains no chlorophyll and appears translucent in sunlight. Once plucked the plant immediately starts to wither or melt in your hand and necrosis occurs in minutes. The prepared roots of the plant are rumored to have an opiate quality and have been used in the suppression of pain during surgery.

Here are a couple of pictures:

I picked mine a good hour ago and they haven't "melted" yet! We must make a hardier version here in the northwoods! I found it while doing my 2 mile walk on the trail. This was the only spot I saw them, and it fits the description above as far as being in a woodland setting with lots of spruce trees to feed off of.

It's one of those little discoveries that makes you feel like, "God put that there just for me to find and wonder over." One of those "suprised by joy" moments C.S. Lewis talks about.

Life is a treasure hunt!


  1. Definitely one of those moments smarty pants Jack mentions - a sweet gift to you. Thank you for sharing!

  2. What a wonderful find. Don't you just love those times when you know God gave you a special gift because you were there noticing his creation?

    Happy Trails,