Thursday, August 5, 2010

Striped Coralroot (Corallorhiza striata var. striata)

The striped Coralroot has the largest flowers and is the most beautiful of all the Coralroots.  There is a less showy variety, Vreeland's Striped Coralroot, Corallorhiza striata var. vreelandii, found in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, but it is very rare even in those states and is one we have not seen.


The showier variety, shown here, is found across Canada from British Columbia to Newfoundland and as far south in the United States as California, Texas and New York.  The flowers are about 1.5 cm in size, the plants about 30 cm tall and they can have as many as 30 flowers per spike.

Like all the other Coralroots, this species is leafless and saprophytic, living off decaying matter in the soil and obtaining nourishment through a fungus.  There are several color forms, both a tan form and a yellowish form, but these are also quite rare.



Note (nearly two years later): we finally had opportunity to see variety vreelandii at two locations in the Columbia River Gorge, at Drano Lake and Dog Mountain though we only found a few at each location.


8 comments:

  1. I would beg to differ...I think Hexalectris spicata beats this one hands-down.

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  2. I'm not going to argue with your choice, Prem. It's one I haven't seen and it is beautiful!

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  3. If you're ever in central Florida at the right time of year I'd be happy to take you to see them.

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  4. Prem,
    If you are ever in Washington, I'd be happy to take you around, and I most definitely will take you up on your offer if I'm in Florida. Strangely, it's the only state besides Alaska and Hawaii I haven't been to.

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  5. My husband took a picture on our wooded acreage of what we believe to be this type of Orchid. IMG_0805.JPG

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    1. Hi Amanda. I'd very much like to see the picture your husband too, but it didn't show up here.

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  6. We found a striped coralroot on our place over the weekend. I am wondering how common these are and was wondering if we could send you a photo. We live about 5 miles north of Colville, WA.

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    1. They are common in certain areas, but often hard to find. Nice you have it growing on your property. And you certainly may send me a photo. Send it to ronaldhhanko @ comcast .net (without the spaces).

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