BSA Parasitic Plant Pages

Monotropsis odorata

  parasitic plant - Monotropsis odorata

Monotropsis odorata, the Pygmy Pipes, is a small species of monotropoid that grows in pine woodlands of the southeastern US, mostly in the Appalachian Mountains.  It occurs from Maryland south to Florida and east to Kentucky and Tennessee.  This picture was taken by Dr. Gary Wallace in North Carolina.

parasitic plant - Monotropsis odorata

The flowers of the Pygmy Pipes, Monotropsis odorata, have papery brown sepals that sheathe the flowers as the plants come up through the litter of forest leaves.

These dissections of flowers of Monotropsis odorata show the distinctive pale purple color of the petals, which are united into a bell-shaped tube.  Ten stamens are present in the flowers, as can be seen from the upper flower, from which the petals have been removed.

Between the purplish bases of the stamens are knob-like nectaries, which secrete nectar that collects in the saclike petal bases.

The central parts of a flower of Monotropsis odorata.  The stigma, which collects pollen, is sticky (here, it has collected some debris, unfortunately).  The anthers have shed most of their pollen grains.  The anthers shed the pollen grains through oval-shaped openings.

parasitic plant - Monotropsis odorata parasitic plant - Monotropsis odorata parasitic plant - Monotropsis odorata

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