Indian pipe


Indian pipe
a leafless, pearly white, saprophytic plant, Monotropa uniflora, of North America and Asia, having a solitary white flower and resembling a tobacco pipe.
[1785-95, Amer.]

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Nongreen herbaceous plant (Monotropa uniflora) that is saprophytic (living on the remains of dead plants).

Clusters grow in moist, shady, wooded areas of North America and Asia. The entire plant is white or grayish, occasionally pink, and turns black as it dries out. A single odourless, cup-shaped flower droops from the tip of a stalk 6–10 in. (15–25 cm) tall. The leaves, which lack chlorophyll and do not perform photosynthesis, are small scales. The name reflects the resemblance of this plant to a miniature Indian peace pipe with its stem stuck in the ground.

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plant
also called  corpse plant,  convulsion root , or  fits root 
 (Monotropa uniflora), nongreen herb, of the heath family (Ericaceae). It lives in close association with a fungus from which it acquires most of its nutrition; some of this comes from trees with which the fungus is also closely associated. It occurs in Asia and throughout North America and is commonly found in moist, shady areas.

      The plant arises from a tangled mass of rootlets, grows 15–25 cm (6–10 inches) tall, and is white, pinkish, or (rarely) red; if it dries out, it turns black. A single, odourless, drooping, cup-shaped flower with four or five petals is borne at the tip of the stalk. The leaves are represented only by small scales, and the fruit is an oval capsule.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Indian pipe — Indian In di*an (?; 277), a. [From India, and this fr. Indus, the name of a river in Asia, L. Indus, Gr. ?, OPers. Hindu, name of the land on the Indus, Skr. sindhu river, the Indus. Cf. {Hindu}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Of or pertaining to India… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Indian pipe — ☆ Indian pipe n. a leafless, fleshy, white, saprophytic plant (Monotropa uniflora) of the heath family, native to the forests of the Northern Hemisphere: its unbranched, erect stalks each bear a single, nodding, white flower …   English World dictionary

  • Indian pipe — noun Date: circa 1818 a waxy white saprophytic herb (Monotropa uniflora of the family Monotropaceae, the Indian pipe family) of Asia and North America with leaves reduced to scales and that turns black in drying …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Indian pipe — vienažiedė gluosvė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Gluosvinių šeimos vaistinis augalas (Monotropa uniflora), paplitęs rytų Azijoje ir Šiaurės ir Pietų Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Monotropa uniflora angl. Indian pipe šaltinis Valstybinės… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Indian pipe — In′dian pipe′ n. pln a leafless, pearly white saprophytic plant, Monotropa uniflora, having a solitary white flower • Etymology: 1785–95, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • Indian pipe — /ɪndiən ˈpaɪp/ (say indeeuhn puyp) noun a leafless saprophytic plant, Monotropa uniflora, of North America and Asia, having a solitary flower, and resembling a tobacco pipe …   Australian English dictionary

  • Indian pipe — noun small waxy white or pinkish white saprophytic woodland plant having scalelike leaves and a nodding flower; turns black with age • Syn: ↑waxflower, ↑Monotropa uniflora • Hypernyms: ↑wildflower, ↑wild flower • Member Holonyms: ↑Monotr …   Useful english dictionary

  • indian-pipe family — noun Usage: usually capitalized I : pyrolaceae …   Useful english dictionary

  • Indian — In di*an (?; 277), a. [From India, and this fr. Indus, the name of a river in Asia, L. Indus, Gr. ?, OPers. Hindu, name of the land on the Indus, Skr. sindhu river, the Indus. Cf. {Hindu}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Of or pertaining to India proper; also …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Indian — In di*an (?; 277), a. [From India, and this fr. Indus, the name of a river in Asia, L. Indus, Gr. ?, OPers. Hindu, name of the land on the Indus, Skr. sindhu river, the Indus. Cf. {Hindu}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Of or pertaining to India proper; also …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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