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Hexalectris warnockii

Hexalectris warnockii Ames & Correll

Texas Crested Coralroot, Texas Purple Spike, Texas Crested Coral Root

Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The orchids of genus Hexalectris are achlorophyllous and are mycoheterotrophic; that is, they utilize Sebacinoid ectomycorrhizal fungi to obtain nutrients from the roots of autotrophic plants.

Slender, nearly leafless, reddish-brown stems with up to 10 mostly reddish-brown, bilaterally symmetrical flowers in a loose raceme.

This is the most common Hexalectris species in Big Bend National Park. There are four other species in the Southwest, all also found in the park; all have yellowish or reddish stems. Crested Coralroot (H. spicata), found from southeastern Arizona to the eastern United States, has yellowish-brown sepals, petals with darker veins, and a yellowish or white lip petal with purple veins.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 16 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


Native Distribution: Southeastern Arizona, central Texas, and Big Bend region of western Texas.
Native Habitat: Open, brushy woods.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Endangered/threatened status for Hexalectris spicata in Texas
November 17, 2007
I was wondering about the status of Crested Coralroot Orchid (Hexalectris spicata) in Texas. Over the years I have located several clumps of them growing on a ranch in southern Bell county. The mos...
view the full question and answer

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 35 - Go Orchids (2019) North American Orchid Conservation Center (NAOCC)

Additional resources

USDA: Find Hexalectris warnockii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hexalectris warnockii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hexalectris warnockii


Record Modified: 2023-04-25
Research By: TWC Staff

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