Fig. 10.2-6. Transverse section of Indian-pipe stem (Monotropa). Indian-pipe is parasitic plant, one that attacks the roots of its host plant. Its body is a subterranean, irregular mass of tissue that produces an inflorescence stalk that pushes upward and raises the flowers above the soil surface where they can be seen by pollinators. This inflorescence stalk is only a temporary structure, and it has a very “inexpensive” construction: it consists mostly of parenchyma and the epidermis cells have so little cuticle that it cannot be seen at this magnification.

            Note the lack of stomata: subterranean parasitic plants carry out no photosynthesis, have no need to absorb carbon dioxide, and have lost the ability to make stomata.