Monotropa hypopithys

Monotropa hypopithys L.

Languages: English


General Description

Herbs pale yellow-brown, rather fleshy, becoming brown when dry, usually pubescent on upper part of inflorescence. Inflorescence racemose, 2-11-flowered, 5-30 cm tall, 1-5 mm in diameter below lowermost flower, emerging from soil in nodding position. Inflorescence bracts below soil level shorter and thicker and more densely crowded on axis than upper bracts. Inflorescence bracts above soil level, sessile, ± erect, ovate to oblong, 7-15 mm long, 3-15 mm wide, rather fleshy, somewhat pubescent to glabrous, margin entire or erose to irregularly toothed, apex acute to acuminate. Flowers nodding, tubular-campanulate. Bracts 1, rarely to 3, similar to inflorescence bracts in size and shape. Sepals 3-5, occasionally absent, oblong to broadly elliptic, 6-10 mm long, 2-5 mm wide, shorter than petals, base attenuate, margin irregularly toothed, apex acute or acuminate. Petals 4-6, oblong, 1–1.5 cm long, 3-6 mm wide, abaxially finely pubescent, adaxially long pubescent, base saccate, margin entire and irregularly denticulate or erose in upper part, apex acute or rounded. Stamens 8-12; filaments 7-14 mm, pubescent; anthers hippocrepiform, short, 0.8-1.5 mm, opening by a solitary terminal slit over connate sacs. Ovary 4-8 mm, 3-6 mm in diameter at anthesis, placentae axile; style 2-10 mm, ca. as long as ovary, slender, pubescent, articulation between style and ovary conspicuous. Stigma yellow, funnelform, 1.5-3 mm in diameter, often subtended by a ring of short hairs, usually pubescent. Nectary at base of ovary with 8-10 paired lobes directed downward between staminal bases opposite saccate bases of petals. Capsules erect, broadly ellipsoid, 6-10 mm long, 4-8 mm wide in diameter.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


Diagnostic Description

Monotropa hypopitys is close relative of Monotropa uniflora, but differs from the latter in its inflorescence pale yellow-brown (vs. white), racemose, 2-11-flowered (vs. scapose, 1-flowered), style slender, about as long as ovary (vs. thick, shorter than ovary), disk lobes stout (vs. slender, elongate).

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


The chromosomal number of Monotropa hypopitys is 2n = 48 (Baker and Parfitt, 1982; Murín and Feráková, 1986).

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun

Ecology and Distribution


Flowering from July to August; fruiting from September to October.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


Monotropa hypopitys is occurring in Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, W Hubei, Hunan, Jilin, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi, N Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan of China, Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Japan, Kashmir, Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Sikkim, Thailand, SW Asia, Europe, North America, Central America.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


Growing in damp mixed and coniferous forests; 100-2500 m.

Author(s): Wen, Jun
Rights holder(s): Wen, Jun


  • Hypopitys multiflora var. glabra Ledebour (synonym)
  • Hypopitys multiflora Scopoli (synonym)
  • Hypopitys monotropa Crantz (synonym)
  • Monotropa hypopitys f. atricha (Domin) Kitagawa (synonym)
  • Monotropa hypopitys subsp. lanuginosa (Michaux) H. Hara (synonym)
  • Monotropa hypopitys subvar. atricha Domin (synonym)
  • Monotropa hypopitys var. glaberrima H. Hara (synonym)
  • Monotropa hypopitys var. glabra Roth (synonym)
  • Monotropa hypopitys var. hirsuta Roth (synonym)
  • Monotropa chinensis Koidzumi (synonym)
  • Monotropa hypophegea Wallroth (synonym)
  • Monotropa lanuginosa Michaux (synonym)
  • Monotropa multiflora (Scopoli) Fritsch (synonym)
  • Monotropa taiwaniana S. S. Ying (synonym)


Baker, M. A., & Parfitt B. D. (1982).  In IOPB chromosome number reports LXXVII. Taxon. 31,
Murín, A., & Feráková V. (1986).  Karyological study of the Slovak flora VIII. Acta Facultatis Rerum Naturalium Universitatis Comenianae, Botanica. 33,