Corallorhiza trifida (Early Coralroot)
|Also known as:||Spring Coralroot, Yellow Coralroot, Northern Coralroot|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; swamps, bogs, thickets, upland forests|
|Bloom season:||May - June|
|Plant height:||5 to 14 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FAC MW: FACW NCNE: FACW|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Erect raceme of 4 to 19 flowers each about 3/8 inch across, with a short ovary and flower stalk. 3 petals and 2 lateral sepals are similarly colored - pale green/yellows, sometimes purple brown at outer tips, elongated, narrowing to a more rounded point. The sepals are slightly longer and narrower than the petals; petals are held close above nearly overlapping over flower column.
Leaves and stem:
Fruit is a dangling capsule about ½ inch long.
The coral-roots provide the longest and most contiguous discovery season for wildflower seekers with spring coral-root as early as autumn coral-root is late. While still small, the lightly colored C. trifida stands out starkly against the rich muted earth tones of decaying vegetation from the previous season and larger clumps can be spotted at great distance. Expect it to appear anywhere throughout its fairly extensive range.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken at numerous locations on state lands in Aitkin, Anoka, Beltrami and Cass Counties
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?