11. Ghost plant in decomposer diorama

Ghost Plant


Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Ericales

Family: Ericaceae

Scientific Name: Monotropa uniflora

Common Name: Ghost Plant

Location: Boreal Forest Diorama

Specimen Nature: Model


Product Description

Contrary to popular belief, not all plants need sunlight. This ghost plant is white because it does not have chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in chloroplasts, the structures where plants make sugar through a process known as photosynthesis. Instead, these plants get their nutrients by parasitizing another plant, usually a pine tree. This means it can grow on the forest floor in very shady areas. But not only is the ghost plant parasitic, it is also a myco-heterotroph! This means it is connected to the host tree through a fungus. The ghost plant draws nutrients from the fungus that the fungus obtained from the tree. Although it may not look like a flowering plant, it is related to blueberries, and actually does produce flowers. In fact, the plants in the photo are all flowering!

$50 Specimen adoption includes:

  • 1 year adoption
  • Certificate & photo
  • Tax receipt for $50