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Corallorhiza maculata (Raf.) Raf.
Summer coralroot, Spotted coralroot, Speckled coral root, Large coral root, Many-flowered coral root
Synonym(s): Corallorrhiza maculata
USDA Symbol: COMA25
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.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
, WY Canada: NB
, PE Native Distribution:
Alberta east to Newfoundland, south to Georgia, and north and west to Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and North Dakota; Texas; also throughout West. Native Habitat:
Usually moist, but occasionally dry, upland, shady forests.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Conditions Comments: It lacks chlorophyll and gets its nourishment from fungi in its coral-like underground stem. (Niering)
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
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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National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2013-06-21
Research By: TWC Staff