Northern Ontario Plant Database
Corallorhiza striata Lindl.
En: striped coralroot
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)
General: A perennial forb, glabrous, to 50 cm, growing from a coral-like, branched rhizome. The bladeless leaves sheath the base of the pink to red stem and are typically lighter in colour than the stem itself. Striped coral root is saprophytic, it has no chlorophyll and must obtain nutrients from dead and decaying organic material. The genus name stems from the Greek korallion and rhiza, meaning coral, and root, respectively. The specific epithet striata, Latin for striped, refers to the striped tepals.
Leaves: Basal, bladeless, sheathing the stem.
Flowers: Flowers in an open to dense raceme with up to 35 flowers. Tepals oblanceolate to elliptic, to 1.7 cm long and 0.5 cm wide, yellowish with 3-5 reddish veins. The lip (labellum) is obovate to elliptic, concave, darker in colour than the other tepals, often white or yellow near the base, to 1.6 cm long and 0.8 cm wide. A more yellowish colour form, C. striata Lindl. forma fulva Fernald, is occasionally encountered. Blooming period from May to June.
Fruit: Capsules ellipsoid, brown, to 2 cm long.
Habitat and Range: Found in moist, coniferous and mixedwood forests, usually in cedar woods over calcareous bedrock. Its range extends from western North America east through the Great Lakes region, with several smaller disjunct populations in eastern Canada. In Ontario, it is found as far north as Kapuskasing, but is more common on Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula.
Internet Images: The Corallorhiza striata page from Orchids of Wisconsin.
And the Corallorhiza striata page from Ontario Wildflowers.
-- written by Derek Goertz
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