The roots of the Indian-Pipe are connected via fungi to the roots of nearby coniferous trees. In this manner Indian-pipe, which lacks chlorophyll and so cannot make its own food, obtains nutrition from the efforts of another plant (the conifer). Nutritionally it is a parasite, but a very special one; because it is not connected directly to its host.
In the Straits Salish and Nlaka'paux languages, the name for Indian-pipe means 'wolf's urine'; it is associated with wolves and is said to grow wherever a wolf urinates. Among the Nlaka'pamux it is an indicator for wood mushrooms in the coming season. It was used as a poultice for wounds that would not heal.
- "Plants of Coastal British Columbia"