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snow plant:see Indian pipeIndian pipe,
common name for the genus Monotropa and for the family Monotropaceae, low flowering plants of north temperate zones. They are chlorophylless saprophytes with a funguslike appearance.
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a plant that grows near melting snows, chiefly in the alpine zone of mountains and in the tundra. Snow plants include several species of Ranunculus, Primula, and Caltha. They usually grow in slope furrows, gullies, and ravines, as well as on the windward sides of rocks. In such places the vegetative period is sharply curtailed owing to the prolonged thawing of snow. Snow plants blossom immediately after the snow melts. They are distinguished by their small size and their large, usually bright flowers. The stuntedness of snow plants is explained by the meager mineral nutrition available on cold soils moistened with thawed snow.