Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Vreeland's Striped Coralroot - Finally
We finally found this rare variety of the Striped Coralroot (rare at least in Washington), Corallorhiza striata var. vreelandii. In plant size and number of flowers it is little different from the ordinary Striped Coralroot, which is shown below, but in flower size, shape and color it is immediately evident that these are very different. The flowers are considerably smaller, around .5 to .75 cm, and instead of pink flowers with bold reddish-purple stripes these flowers are pale yellow to off white in color with much fainter striping.
We found one lone spike of this variety at a location near Drano Lake in the Columbia Gorge, though there may have been other plants that were already finished flowering. The ordinary variety certainly were all finished. We found more of them, though still not many, at Dog Mountain when we hiked the trail there. The flowers at Drano Lake were yellow, but the flowers at Dog Mountain were grayish-white. In both cases they were growing in proximity to the ordinary variety and to the Western Spotted Coralroot.
These were incredibly hard to photograph at Drano Lake. It was a dull day, we were in a rather dark woods, and a breeze was blowing, making it difficult to get pictures that were in focus, much less pictures that any depth of field. Most of my pictures from that area were discarded, but we managed to get enough to have a record of this lovely native orchid which is found only in the Western United States. We had a somewhat easier time at Dog Mountain since the day had brightened a bit and the plants were more exposed.