On a short hike this afternoon I encountered several dozen groups of Indian Pipes. They are not rare, but live in forested areas in deep shade and can be easily overlooked. It was unusual to see so many along a short (perhaps half a mile) piece of trail. They usually grow in groups and have many attractive poses. And so I got carried away with photos.
The common name ‘Indian Pipe’ refers to the pipe-like flowering stalks. It is also called ‘Ghost Flower’ and is in a leafless, saprophytic subfamily of Monotropae. They do not have chlorophyll or green leaves and do not manufacture their own food, obtaining food instead from decaying material in the tree litter and humus. They do not depend on the sun and are usually found in the deep shade of coniferous forests. While their pretty little faces always point straight down (and therefore are very difficult to photograph), the fruit eventually points straight up!