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coralroot orchids
Corallorhiza sp.
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spring coralroot
Corallorhiza wisteriana
autumn coralroot
Corallorhiza odontorhiza
wister2.JPG 25.55 K
Photo taken in May
Coralroot orchids are peculiar little plants, lacking leaves. They apparently use fungi in the leaf litter to obtain their nutrition, rather than manufacturing it like green plants. The name comes from the coral like roots which may grow underground for years, blooming only occasionally.

The two species of coralroot found here can easily be distinguished by their blooming season if not by appearance.
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Photo taken in October
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variety pringlei
After spending most of the time underground, coralroots emerge only for blooming. Both species may be polllinated by insects and set seed.











But the autumn coralroot often develops a pod and sets viable seeds without even opening its flowers for pollination.

Go figure.
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variety odontorhiza
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Both species are widely distributed, although scarce in some areas. Loss of habitat makes them species of conservation concern in many states.
us cor odo.gif 9.34 K
ark cor wis.gif 11.40 K
ar cor odo.gif 10.94 K