Corallorhiza striata (Striped Coralroot) - photos and description







Leaves have evolved into transparent sheaths clasping the stems

General: Native orchid with showy flowers and stout, red stems. This plant lacks chlorophyll, and is saprophytic (derives nutrients from decaying plant material).

Flowers: The flowers grow in a spike, the spike growing about half of the length of the stem. The flower has a tongue-shaped lower lip, dark reddish-purple with dark stripes. The lip is abruptly downward bent. The two lateral petals and three sepals have reddish stripes and grow in a fan pattern behind the lip.

Flowers measured to 2 cm diameter. Blooms in late May through mid June.

I have seen quite a few of these plants over the years, the stems have varied from dark red to a pinkish-orange. Can sometimes be found growing in clumps of 5 or 10 stems.

Leaves: Its leaves are semi-transparent sheaths clasping the stem.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 50 cm, we measured plants to 30 cm tall.

Habitat: Coniferous, mixed, and aspen woodlands.

Abundance: Rare, ranked as an S3 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Took the above photos May 27th in aspen woods, about 70 km SW of Regina, SK June 4th edge of swampy ground Cypress Hills, 450 km southwest of Regina, SK, and June 5th and 8th in a woodland near Regina, SK.