Corallorhiza striata (Striped Coralroot)

Plant Info
Also known as: Hooded Coralroot
Genus:Corallorhiza
Family:Orchidaceae (Orchid)
Life cycle:perennial
Origin:native
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.

Notes:

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

Comments

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!

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