Thanks, Betsy! My 1980s botany is out of date!


" They were termed saprophytes, meaning plants that get their nourishment
from decaying organic matter. The term saprophyte is now obsolete, and
plants such as Indian pipe and others that obtain nutrients in the same
manner are called mycoheterotrophs or epiparasites. They appear to be
parasitic on the fungi as no benefit to the fungus from its association
with the Indian pipe has been discerned.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Betsy Darlington <>
Date: Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] OT: fab mushroom photos
To: Karen Edelstein <>

Hi, Karen--
It turns out that they aren't saprophytes after all, but parasites on
mycorhizal fungi. (So says Kathie Hodge.)  When I learned this from her
several years ago, I was very surprised.  The same is true of squawroot and
beech drops.

On Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 12:24 AM, Karen Edelstein <> wrote:

> Hi Meena,
> Great finds! Two of your mushrooms (pages 2 and 13) are actually not
> fungi, but are saprophytic, nonphotosynthetic flowering plants. Probably
> Indian pipe,  Monotropa uniflora.
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