Ghost Flower, also called monotropa uniflora, ghost pipe, Indian pipe, and corpse flower.
Only found in rich and undisturbed forests, it is usually hidden in the dark underbrush. They do not need the sun–they live and grow through a complex relationship with the mycorrhizal fungus in the soil and the local trees. The trees photosynthesize energy from the sun, which feeds the fungus, which in turn feeds the ghost flower.
They are naturally white or pale pink, and turn black if disturbed. Distilled they are a deep blue – violet. It is said that the tincture tastes like dark earthy vanilla and cinnamon.
It was once used for pain relief–not in the belief that it stopped pain, but that it helps us understand and distance ourselves from our suffering.
Ghost Flower is fragile, threatened from over harvesting and habitat loss. If you find any, leave them undisturbed.
Copyright 2017, Little Brown Wren