Each July and August, I keep an eye out for Indian pipe, a flower also known as the ghost plant. Only now and then will I encounter the strange plant that lacks chlorophyll. It has carved out an ecological niche on the deep, sunlight-deprived, forest floor, where it extracts energy, with the help of fungi, from surrounding trees, rather than from direct sunlight.
Alas, I rarely find it.
A couple of years ago, I and others, discovered a small patch of Indian pipe that had started growing beside the spawning channel at the Kokanee Creek Park. It was there again last year. This year, it has erupted into many patches, each with multiple flowers.
What is it about the weather this year that encouraged the growth of Indian pipe? I don’t know, but I do delight in the present profusion of these ghosts.
One of a number of patches of Indian pipe along the spawning channel.
This group of plants is sitting in a momentary patch of sunlight on the dark forest floor.