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Monotropsis odorata Schweinitz ex Elliott. Appalachian Pigmy Pipes. Phen: Feb-Apr (and sometimes Sep-Nov); May-Jun (and sometimes Oct-Nov). Hab: Dry to mesic upland woods under oaks and/or pines (Pinus virginiana or P. echinata), especially slopes or bluffs with abundant heaths, often including Kalmia latifolia and/or Rhododendron maximum. Dist: Centered in the Appalachians: DE, MD, and WV south to GA and AL.

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Taxonomy Comments: The ‘fall-flowering form" (entity "lehmaniae", see synonymy), appears to represent the early development of M. odorata which will typically then overwinter in ‘suspended animation’ and flower in the early spring (Klooster, Clark, & Culley 2009; Rose 2012; Rose & Freudenstein 2014).

Other Comments: The flowers are very fragrant, the odor variously compared to cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and violets. Since the diminutive plants (3-10 cm tall) are often covered by leaf litter, and the key to finding this species -- for botanists and its primary pollinator, bumblebees -- is the strong fragrance (Klooster, Clark, & Culley 2009). Monotropsis odorata shows fungal host specificity with Hydnellum P. Karst. (Thelephiorales: Bankeraceae)" (Bidartondo & Bruns (2001).

Synonymy: = K3, K4, Tn, Va, Chafin (2000), Rose & Freudenstein (2014), Rose (2012), Weakley (2009a); = n/a – Tat; = Schweinitzia odorata Raf.; > Monotropsis lehmaniae Burnham – S; < Monotropsis odorata Schwein. ex Elliott – C, F, FNA8, G, K1, W, WV, Luteyn et al (1996), Wallace (1975); > Monotropsis odorata Schwein. ex Elliott – S; > Monotropsis odorata Schwein. ex Elliott var. lehmaniae (Burnham) H.E.Ahles – RAB; > Monotropsis odorata Schwein. ex Elliott var. odorata – RAB

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Heliophily: 3

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image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷

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