Monotropa hypopitys – Pinesap, Dutchman’s Pipe

Pinesap is an herbaceous perennial wildflower with a wide geographic distribution throughout the United States and Canada. However, Pinesap is a rarely encountered wildflower.

Monotropa hypopitys.
Monotropa hypopitys. Photo by Nancy Cotner.

Map of North America showing green shaded areas where the species may be found.
Monotropa hypopitys range map. USDA PLANTS Database.

Monotropa hypopitys (Monotropa – once turned; hypopitys – under the pine or fir from its habitat) ranges in height from 10 to 35 centimeters. The entire plant is a pale creamy white, coral pink or red. The leaves are scale-like and occur along the flower stalk (peduncle). The inflorescence is a raceme of 2 to 11 flowers at the tip of the flower stalk. Upon emerging from the ground, the flowers are pendant. As the anthers and stigma mature, the flowers are spreading to all most perpendicular to the stem. The fruit is a capsule. As the capsule matures, the flowers become erect. Once ripened, seed is released through slits that open from the tip to the base of the capsules. The plant is persistent after the seeds have dispersed.

Monotropa hypopitys flowers.
Monotropa hypopitys flowers. Photo by Hugh and Carol Nourse.

Monotropa hypopitys flowers.
Monotropa hypopitys flowers. Photo by Nancy Cotner.

Monotropa hypopitys flowers from early summer to mid autumn. It is found in mature, moist, shaded, temperate forests.

Conservation Concern

Pinesap is listed as endangered in Florida and threatened in Iowa.

Monotropa hypopitys.
Monotropa hypopitys. Photo by Nancy Cotner.

Monotropa hypopitys.
Monotropa hypopitys. Photo by Matt Below.