Monday, August 9, 2010

Early Coralroot (Corallorhiza trifida)

The Early Coralroot is the most widespread of all the Coralroots.  It is also the most insignificant in appearance.  It is found not only from Alaska east across Canada and in the northern and western United States, but is very common in Europe and Asia.  It is usually smaller than the other Coralroots (to 25 cm in height), fewer flowered (5-10 flowers on the plants we have seen),and in color a very plain green and white.

The flowers themselves are slightly less than 1 cm in size, and though they can be spotted purple, they are so small that one has to look closely to see the purple spotting.  Like the other Coralroots, they grow in rather shady forests, though in our experience in slightly damper locations than the others.  As the name suggests, they bloom early, often with the Trilliums and other early wildflowers, but later at high elevations.

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