Monday, August 11, 2014

Indian Pipes & Jewel Weed

If someone were to ask me what my favorite wildflower in August-September was, I'd have to answer.
Indian Pipes also know as Ghost Plants, Corpse Plants [hey Zombies, a flower for you!], and some other names.

They are interesting because they don't use chlorophyll but feed off from fungi which in turns feeds off from wood or a nearby tree.

Small bumble bees find these plants as a great source of food.

I found many places where these were 'popping up'.  If a person were to do a normal hiking speed through my trails and not look hard, these would be missed.
I actually would take a few steps, stop and scan the undergrowth for these.  Once I'd find one...I'd find dozens.

A few times in order to photograph these plants I had to nearly lay down on the ground.  

Their scientific name is Monotrop uniflora.  I still like 'Indian Pipes'.

You have to admit, they are unique!

After they are done flowering ... which you can see in the above shot, they turn black and slimy looking and whither back into the soil.

I also found some yellow Jewel Weed while hiking.
This color isn't as usual as the orange Jewel Weed, but I have found out that the juice from these plants make a great soap that helps with ANY itchy skin.
When I pull nettles in the garden and get welts, I rub on some Jewel Weed soap.  
When my grandson got into poison ivy, I covered it in Jewel Weed soap lather.
When my grand daughter's bare legs were all itchy from running through the weeds,... you guessed it.  Jewel Weed soap lather.

She said it tingled and the itch went away.

How cool is that?

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