February 9, 2010
February 9 - Monotropa uniflora
Monotropa uniflora, also known as the Indian Pipe plant or the Ghost Plant, is a kind of parasitic plant known as a myco-heterotroph. These plants use the symbiotic fungi that associate with other plants, in this case trees, to get their nutrients. Because they do not need to photosynthesize themselves, they can grow in very dark conditions. At present, there is just a single species described, which has a wide, but highly discontinuous distribution in North America, Central America, and eastern Asia, but a recent paper based on DNA sequences from the plants has suggested that these are distinct evolutionary lineages.
Photo from here.