Indian Ghost Pipe Talisman - 18” chain
Silver. Cast twigs. Ghost pipe + dendritic agate to represents its unique root system. Measures ~2”x1”. Available in the next release.
Where do I even begin with this non-photosynthetic wildflower? For starters, it also goes by the name “Fairy Smoke,” so let’s just get that out of the way now. Ghost pipe is translucent white because it has no chlorophyll and does not need light to survive, hence its name. So if it doesn’t have chlorophyll where does it get it’s energy? This sucker taps its roots into mycorrhizal networks, essentially stealing energy and nutrients from surrounding plants and fungi. What are mycorrhizal networks you ask? 1) The coolest thing ever, 2) The mutual symbiotic relationship between fungi and almost all plants/trees on earth. Plants produce their own food but have trouble taking up nutrients. Fungi must absorb their food but are great at absorbing nutrients. So mycelium (mushroom “roots”) tap into plant roots in order to exchange food/nutrients. This also greatly increases the surface area of the root systems, allowing wider access to water/nutrient absorption for the plants. This enlarged root system is known as a mycorrhizal network.
So long story short — Ghost Pipe taps into this root system and totally third wheels it, stealing energy from plants and nutrients from fungi but giving nothing in return. Genius. It also has a myriad of health benefits!
Sorry, guys. I have a background in soil science and this was always my favorite topic 😁 Mycorrhizal networks have only recently been heavily researched but they are so important and so interesting. They’re how trees communicate with each other! But that’s for another day…