|Indian pipe- RKipfer|
|Mature Indian pipe- Chris Wagner|
|Pink variant-Mark Bower|
|Lactarius maculatipes- Mark Bower|
Indian pipe only grows on fungi rhizomes of the Russulaceae family. For the budding mycologists, these have chalk-like stems that break like a soft carrot. The two common genera are the Russula and the Lactarius. The Russula are distinctive enough that even I can usually identify them by their large, brightly colored caps, frequently red, and their white free gills that are brittle. Lactarius, as the name suggests, have a milky sap along their broken gills.
Tom Volk has a good discussion of mycoheterotrophc plants (lack chlorophyll and depend on their mycorrhizal fungus for carbon and nutrient supply).