Sun 24 Apr 2016
I found lots of these weird plants on the side of Kane-yama (Mt Kane) in Munakata today. I couldn’t find them in my plant book so I searched on Internet using the phrase: weird white ghost like plants in the forest. Amazingly, this search brought up the correct thing immediately and it’s actually called a Ghost Plant, or Indian Pipe in North America.
This plant has no chlorophyll, hence the white colour, which also means that it cannot make its own food. Instead, it is a parasite (or symbiote) of underground fungi that, in turn, are symbiotes living on the roots of trees, from which they gain food. It’s a pretty complicated relationship!
Ghost plant = Monotropa uniflora = gin-ryousou-modoki (Japanese)