Perennial herb from a fleshy root mass; parasites on mycorrhizal fungi associated with trees; "stems" erect, simple, 5-30 cm tall, pinkish to straw-coloured, drying to black; persistent after seed dispersal; without chlorophyll.
Mostly near bottom of stem, scale-like, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, thick, margins entire or fringed with coarse hairs.
Several to many in terminal, raceme-like inflorescence, usually bent over when flowering, becoming erect in fruit; flower stalks 3-6 mm long; petals 10-14 mm long, erect, overlapping one another, usually hairy on one or both surfaces, sometimes glabrous, somewhat pouch-like at base; calyces 4-9 mm long, margins of lobes hairy; stamens shorter than the corolla; styles 1-2 mm wide, hairy; stigmas slightly lobed.
Capsules, nearly globe-shaped, 5-10 mm long.
Stem and leaves can be considered part of the inflorescence.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|CWH(116), ESSF(14), ICH(68), IDF(3), MH(10), MS(11), SBPS(2), SBS(11)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Monotropa hypopitys L.
Hypopitys americana (DC.) Small
Hypopitys fimbriata (A. Gray) Howell
Hypopitys insignata E.P. Bicknell
Hypopitys lanuginosa (Michx.) Nutt.
Hypopitys latisquama Rydb.
Hypopitys monotropa Crantz
Monotropa hypopithys subsp. lanuginosa (Michx.) H. Hara
Monotropa hypopithys var. americana (DC.) Domin
Monotropa hypopithys var. latisquama (Rydb.) Kearney & Peebles
Monotropa hypopithys var. rubra (Torr.) Farw.
Monotropa lanuginosa Michx.
Monotropa latisquama (Rydb.) Hultén
1. Plants pinkish to straw-coloured; inflorescence of several to many flowers in terminal clusters; petals 4, 10-14 mm long; sepals 4...........................M. hypopithys
1. Plants waxy-white; inflorescence of a single terminal flower; petals usually 5, 15-20 mm long; sepals lacking but upper bracts sepal-like...........................M. uniflora
Source: Illustrated Flora of British Columbia