The Parasitic Ghost Plant - It Thrives Here In Sooke


The Ghost Plant

Monotropa Uniforma, the Ghost Plant's Latin name.  What an odd looking plant, looking more like the eco-skeleton of a spider, or an alien from another world. 

I stumbled across a patch of them in the forest near where I live, here in Sooke, B.C. on the west coast side of Vancouver Island.  A dark place, under a canopy of trees where sunshine rarely if ever hits.  It needs no sunlight to grow.

It's a rare tiny plant, white not green, no chlorophyll, almost see through, with one little flower that faces down to the ground like a bell. Being a parasite plant, (herbaceous perennial) it lives off the decaying matter of a certain fungi that only grows on the forest floor beneath the native trees (beech esp) that grow around here.  Big trees!

At first I didn't know what it was.  Aliens from outer space.  A patch here, a patch there. 

They really do look odd!