Dare I hope? When browsing the gorgeous photos at this website, I idled through the photos of Indian Pipe. I came to the photos of its seed pods and stopped in my tracks. I’ve seen those pods before. . . in the back yard!
I think this is Indian Pipe. But I hesitate to say it actually is, because I so much want it to be.
What makes Indian pipe so cool? For one it’s rare. For another, it looks like some kind of mushroom. But it actually is a plant that lacks chlorophyll. Instead of feeding on sunlight, it is a parasite that feeds off of some sort of fungus that in turn lives in symbiosis with particular types of tree roots. In other words, even if I were able to acquire seeds, there is no chance that I could plant this stuff and expect it to grow.
I will be eagerly watching for signs of mysterious white sprouts in the summer!