Indian Pipe is one of my favorite plants to find while out in the woods. It’s bright pale coloring makes it seem like something from a fantasy novel. The stems grow 4-10 inches tall and are topped by a single, down-turned bell-shaped flower.
It’s a unique perennial that grows without chlorophyll. The whole plant is almost translucent white, but I’ve seen them in varying shades of purple, and pink, too. They usually bloom between June and October.
Legends say it is also called “ice plant” and “bird’s nest”.
While it is too rare to harvest in large amounts, if you find some in your own woods, it can be harvested to treat a number of ailments.
The roots can be harvested, dried, and a tea made from it to treat spasms, fainting spells, epilepsy, muscle spasms, as well as treating fever. Native Americans would drink the tea to treat the bodily aches and pains caused by colds.
The plant can also be soaked in rose water and a cloth, drenched in the liquid, can be applied to the eyes.