Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Corallorhiza striata var. striata

Corallorhiza striata, the Striped Coralroot, is the second orchid to bloom in the Pacific Northwest, though when it blooms the Spotted Coralroot, Corallorhiza maculata, is also starting.  It is, without question, the largest-flowered and most beautiful of our native Coralroots.  It has two varieties, variety striata, shown here and another smaller-flowered and rarer variety, variety vreelandii, Vreeland's Striped Coralroot.  The plants are up to 50 cm tall and the flowers are 2-3 cm.  Like all the other Coralroots it is mycotrophic, leafless and without chlorophyll, living in a symbiotic relationship with a soil fungi.  There is some variation in color and several named color forms.  One of the April 25th pictures, taken in the Columbia River gorge shows the darkest flowers we have ever seen.

April 25 and 26
(well started in the Columbia River gorge)

April 28
(just beginning in the foothills of the North Cascades)

May 16

May 19