A saprophytic woodland plant related to wintergreen, lacking chlorophyll and bearing one or more waxy bell-shaped flowers.
Two species in the family Monotropaceae (or Pyrolaceae): the yellow or reddish Monotropa hypopithys (also called false beechdrops), common in eastern North America, and the pinkish or purplish violet-scented Monotropsis odorata (also called sweet pinesap)‘The flowers of Pinesap are in clusters, while each stem of Indian Pipe is solitary.’
- ‘Pinesap, like its relative Indian pipe has no chlorophyll, so it cannot obtain energy from sunlight. Instead, it gets nutrients from organic matter in the soil.’
- ‘Because Pinesap is an indirect parasite of the autotrophic plant, it is sometimes referred to as an epiparasite.’