It ranges across most of North America where there are shady, moist coniferous forests.
American poet Emily Dickinson called the Indian Pipe, "the preferred flower of life". She describes in a letter that she:
"still cherishes the clutch with which I bore it from the ground when a wandering child, and unearthly booty, and maturity only enhances the mystery, never decreases it."
In the heart of the forest arising,
Slim, ghostly, and fair,
Ethereal offspring of moisture,
Of earth and of air;
With slender stems anchored together
Where first they uncurl,
Each tipped with its exquisite lily
Mid the pine-needles, closely enwoven
Its roots to embale,--
The Indian-pipe of the woodland,
Thrice lovely and frail!
Is this but an earth-springing fungus--
This darling of Fate
Which out of the mouldering darkness
Such light can create?
Or is it the spirit of Beauty,
Here drawn by love's lure
To give to the forest a something
Unearthy and pure:
To crystallize dewdrop and balsam
And dryad-lisped words
And starbeam and moonrise and rapture
And song of wild birds?