A mycotrophic Orchid with 10-30 purplish-brown to yellowish bilaterally symmetrical flowers in loose racemes along a yellowish or brownish, leafless floral stalk that has several sheaths toward the base. The specific epithet, maculata, means spotted and is given for the purple spots on the lip of the flower.
This northern orchid is the most common and largest coralroot. Clumps of stems often occur in extensive colonies. It lacks chlorophyll and gets its nourishment from fungi in its coral-like underground stem. Several smaller species differ in color and in the nature of the lip. Five species occur in the East, among them: Wisters Coralroot (C. Wisteriana), which flowers from March to May, before any of the others and Late or Autumn Coralroot (C. odontorhiza), with flowers less than 1/5 (5 mm) long, the last to flower, appearing from late August to October.
Weird-looking rootless plant, perhaps a fungus
August 23, 2008
While out it my backyard (i.e. the Black Hills of South Dakota), I spotted a weird-looking rootless plant (I think it may be a fungus) growing beneath the Ponderosa Pines. It was the only one in the a...
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