Corallorhiza striata (Striped Coralroot)

Plant Info
Also known as: Hooded Coralroot
Family:Orchidaceae (Orchid)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, shade; woods
Bloom season:May - June
Plant height:7 to 18 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: UPL MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: irregular Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] Erect spike-like raceme of 7 to 26 flowers, each about ½ inch across with a short ovary and flower stalk. The 3 sepals and 2 lateral petals are similar in size and shape, oval narrowing to pointed tips, creamy white with purple to red stripes, fanning at the top of the flower. The lower lip similar size but little broader, unlobed, the striping merged to create nearly solid reddish purple. The central flower column is yellow. 

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

[photo of stems] Leaves are reduced to pale green overlapping sheathes from the base. Smooth throughout, the stem is red to purple and unbranched, single to multiple clusters.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

Fruit is dangling capsule up to 1 inch long.


The coralroots go from unspectacular to vibrant as Striped Coralroot demonstrates. Sporadic from year to year, MN DNR botanist Welby Smith recommends the woodland trails in Itasca State Park for reliable appearances. There are 2 recognized varieties in North America: var. vreelandii has populations primarily in the western and southwestern US, and var. striata which is present primarily in the northern and northwestern US, including Minnesota, and into Canada.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken on state forest land in northern Aitkin County


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Diane - White earth reservation mahnomen county
on: 2016-06-06 12:25:51

I found 5 of these this year in the woods. Also found 1 small showy orchis. Great web site!

Posted by: Del Stubbs - Western edge Beltrami Cnty, 10 miles north of Solway.
on: 2018-11-05 08:39:25

In 2017 we had an abundance of these in our sugar bush(counted 28 plants) it's very shaded ironwood / suger maple forest with only thin short grass and leaves for ground cover. In 2017 I marked where each plant was but none showed in 2018. They are stunning viewed up close, but it takes practice to find them, a bit like looking for morels.

Posted by: Allan Meadows - Rainy Lake - Koochiching County
on: 2021-05-29 15:38:48

Found one stalk in my neighbor's yard, seven miles east of International Falls.

Posted by: Susan Premo - Stony river township, near Ely area
on: 2021-06-13 12:19:28

I think it is some sort of coralroot, but for now all that is up are the stems. I'll hopefully still be camping here when it blooms. The stems are red and enveloped with a sheath. Their only a few inches tall right now.

Posted by: Sherman - Near Snively Road in Duluth
on: 2022-05-29 12:31:34

Sometime around 1980, a few of these popped up on the North side of my parents' house in Duluth between a group of Juneberry tree trunks and the Northeast corner of the house. The Coralroot stalks were a short distance back from a barberry bush and the Hydrangeas that grew in front of the house. The area was shady most of the time, so not many other plants grew between the Juneberry trees and the house. I saw another Striped Coralroot years later, out at our cabin on Briar Lake.

Posted by: Bell - Hackensack roughly 8 miles south of Leech Lake
on: 2023-06-04 21:01:43

There are several striped coralroot coming up right in our ?lawn? near some yellow slipper orchids in the shade of an oak. First time I?ve seen them in the yard. The spring started out with generous snowfall and then got hot and dry.

Posted by: Patrea Wilson - Along entrance road to Taconite Harbor, Cook County
on: 2023-06-19 20:30:41

Two stands of stalks along the edge of the road to the boat launch at the "safe harbor." Beautiful, in full bloom.

Posted by: Suzanne Gappa - Cook County
on: 2023-08-16 10:31:38

Along the Border Route Trail between West Pike Lake and Gogebic Lake in the BWCAW.

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