Sunday: 13 October 2013
|My encounters with Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora) are infrequent things, here. I only have two blog entries on them, Oct 24 2009, and Sep 19 2004, and I think that fairly represents my encounters since 2004.|
I refer to those posts for a description of the plant, other than to say that this species does not, and cannot, do photosynthesis. It diverts food from nearby trees via a fungus that serves as a transport route between the source and the Indian Pipe. The plant is only visible when the flowers, which you see here, emerge for a few days to a week or two.
This year I’ve run across two emergences, one observation in September, and then not too far away, the photographed observation on Oct 3. This year, the first emergence was close to a variety of tree species, but the second was close only to sweetgums.
I took a look at the annual and summertime rainfall during those years. Here we’ve had a somewhat cooler summer with quite a bit of rainfall, twice that usually seen in summer. However 2004 and 2009 were under average quite significantly, for the summer, at least. Average summer temperatures for those years were not particularly low or high. So I don’t have a ready explanation for this year’s possibly high emergence rate.