Monday, May 19, 2014

Corallorhiza mertensiana

Corallorhiza mertensiana, the Western Coralroot (not to be confused with the Western Spotted Coralroot) or Merten's Coralroot, is a species that is very common in some places.  It is also extremely variable in color, both in the color of the stems and flowers, though the flower form is quite constant.  Those we find earliest in bloom, always at the same location, are a rather uniform dark pink, some of the darkest colors we've found anywhere, but those we find elsewhere come in an endless variety.  The pale pink stemmed forms are called forma pallida by Paul Martin Brown and others and I've included them in another post along with other pale-stemmed plants, though the colors shade into each other and calling some plants by this name is rather arbitrary.

May 3 and 9
(Fidalgo Island)

May 24 and 27
(Whidbey Island)

June 25
(North Cascades)

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