Corallorhiza maculata (Spotted Coralroot) - photos and description









General: Native orchid with stems varying in colour from red to flesh-coloured (most common) to yellow. This plant lacks chlorophyll and does not photosynthesize. It instead uses specific fungi in the soil to tap into tree roots to derive sugar.

Sometimes can be found in large clumps, 50+ stems.

Flowers: Flowers in a long raceme. The lip is three-lobed, with two small lateral lobes, and a large, showy middle lobe white in colour with reddish-purple spots. The two lateral petals and three sepals grow in a fan pattern behind the lip. Flowers were measured to 16 mm diameter, the lip at 6 mm long and 4 mm wide. The entire raceme measured at 12 cm long.

Leaves: None. Leaves are reduced to what are described as “sheathing scales” clasping the bottom of stems.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 50 cm, we measured plants to 39 cm tall.

Habitat: Shady woodlands, in the parklands and boreal Forest.

Abundance: Listed as uncommon in Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Photos taken June 22nd, lodgepole pine forest, Cypress Hills, June 25th in moist, rich woods in the boreal forest, near La Ronge, and June 29th in mixed forest in the Moose Mountains.