Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Indian Pipe

It is a strange and ghostly looking thing, Indian Pipe.  

Sometimes called 'corpse plant' (an unattractive name if there ever was one), it is easy to recognize and is the one of the very few plants that doesn't have chlorophyll (the stuff that makes plants green, and creates energy for the plant)
Instead, it is waxy, whitish colour, that gradually turns black as it gets old.   

Most people think it is a fungus, but not so fast...   It isn't.  It just uses fungus. And trees.  In point of unattractive fact, it is a parasite (but don't hate if just for that).  It has a relationship with both fungus and trees - taking nutrients from both at the same time. This means that it's habitat is limited, since it needs to grow where it can tap its roods into the mycelia (root like threads) of a fungus, while that fungus has a relationship going on with a nearby tree -- the fungus taps into the roots of the tree to get nutrients it cannot produce itself.  The fungus is more friendly -- it gives back to the tree nutrients that the tree needs but cannot produce, so that relationship is all warm and fuzzy and works to the benefit of both.

The Indian Pipe just kind of slides in the side door, and takes what it needs from the fungus, without giving back.  It doesn't take enough to harm either tree or fungus, and it is a useful food source for bumblebees, so there is no need for alarm, or to try to get rid of it. Just enjoy it when you find it growing white and pale near the base of one of its favoured trees.

We've had guests report finding them along the Lookout trail up the mountain. And this one was discovered in the back fields, near one of the horse jumps.  They grow in shady spots, and are not all that common, so finding them is a tiny adventure.

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