Ghost plants

Ghost plants

Ghost plant 1

Ghost plant, Mimi Estep

Ghost plant 2
Ghost plant 3
Ghost plant 4

About a dozen Ohio Cooperative Living readers were interested enough in my August 2022 Woods, Waters & Wildlife monthly outdoors column story (Specter of the Forest), profiling the wild plant growing deep in Ohio’s woodlands known as ghost plant, ghost pipes, or Indian pipes, that they sent me photos or notes of their own interesting encounters with the plant. Below is a sampling: 

Roy Smith, Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative

Walking at Mohican State Park recently, I saw a strange white plant I had never seen before. Later that day, while reading the electric co-op magazine, I saw the exact plant mentioned in your article — the ghost plant, really unusual! Thanks for your informative articles. 

Mimi Estep, Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative

Thank you for your article about the wild plant named ghost pipes/Indian pipes in the August 2022 issue of Ohio Cooperative Living magazine; it really caught my eye. We live near West Holmes High School in a tiny town named Welcome. If you blink, you’ve missed it! We are fortunate to be able to observe all types of wild plants that most people have never heard of. We have blood root, prince’s pine, and Indian pipes. I am obsessed with all the beauty that nature blesses us with. I enjoy photography, and we live in the perfect place for that. I thoroughly enjoyed your article, and wanted to thank you for sharing it. 

Karan Burt, Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative

Thank you for the story about ghost plant in the August 2022 issue of Ohio Cooperative Living. On my hikes at Waterloo Wildlife Area near Athens, I see and photograph ghost plant. At first, I thought it may be some kind of mushroom. I hunt for morels, but photograph many different kinds of mushrooms. 

Brooklyn Hoopes, Carroll Electric Cooperative

This accompanying picture is from Boone Hoopes, age seven, and Trapper Hoopes, age four. It was taken in Carroll County on July 29, 2022, while the boys were on a hike with their grandmother, Deb Hoopes, who read your recent article about ghost plant in Ohio Cooperative Living. They were thrilled to find the plant growing in their own back yard after reading your story!

Aaron Curry, Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative

My wife was browsing through Ohio Cooperative Living and saw your article. She remembered me telling her about a ghost plant YouTube video quite some time ago: I think this plant could have medicinal value for chronic Lyme disease issues, but I have never found one. I believe God has created everything in nature necessary for us to maintain optimum health and to medicate naturally. Unfortunately, old, effective remedies and tinctures have been, for the most part, long forgotten. I enjoyed reading your article and found it to be quite interesting.

John Kensinger, Carroll Electric Cooperative

Thank you for your interesting article in the recent Ohio Cooperative Living magazine concerning ghost plant. I recently came across some growing on our farm, and would not have known what it was if not for your photos. I just thought I would share this with you, as the plants were very exciting to see. Thanks for the wonderful articles!

Cathy Moore, Washington Electric Cooperative

I was fascinated to read your article in the electric-cooperative magazine.  I found some ghost pipe on July 24th last year in our woods, and posted a photo of it on Facebook to learn what it was. I have looked for it in the same place this year, but as of yet have not found any. The plants I found first resembled the photo accompanying your story that you took in Virginia.  When I took photos of my plants a few days later, they looked more like your other photo. I’m attaching a photo I took on July 24, 2021.

Harolyn Walker, Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative

Friends and I discovered 10 ghost plants in my woods on August 12, 2022. After seeing your picture of the ghost plant in the August 2022 issue of Ohio Cooperative Living, I was able to identify the first one. The plants were not “full,” but we did find at least one “stem” of each in an area within about 10 to 30 feet of my earlier sighting.

Jenni Parsons, The Frontier Power Company

Greetings from Warsaw, Ohio! I’m a third-generation herbalist and part of the Woodland Herbal family ( Recently, I received an invite from a neighbor to visit and harvest from a large patch of ghost pipe. We were so excited! Ghost pipe is difficult to find and even harder to harvest and process. It must be harvested carefully and with much respect, as it only grows in very specific conditions and cannot be cultivated. 

The patch was wonderful! At least 30 clumps of little white pipes within the very short window of peak growth and health. My husband and I harvested from a few spots, leaving the majority for the use of wild creatures and to ensure the patch will reappear next year. Some herbalists use only the stem and flower, but we use the whole plant, roots and all. Ghost pipe can be dried for tea or as an addition to smoking blends. In these forms, the herb is gentle and slightly relaxing to frazzled nerves.