Corallorhiza odontorhiza (Willd.) Poir. - Autumn Coralroot


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Corallorhiza odontorhiza - (image 1 of 4)



Family: Orchidaceae


Open woods.




ME and VT to NY, southern MI, and southern MN, south to FL and Mexico.


Mycoheterotrophic perennial; stem 10-20 cm, with a bulbous-thickened white base, otherwise purple to brown or greenish above; inflorescence 3-6 cm; flowers 5-15; sepals and lateral petals extending forward over the column, oblong, 3-4.5 mm, yellowish to purplish-green or dark purple; lip declined, short-clawed or nearly sessile, expanded above into a rotund blade 3-4 mm, white, usually with purple margins and two purple spots, entire or finely erose, often emarginated.


Flowers August to September

Wetland indicator: NA

Two varieties occur in the east. The plants in these images are typical C. odontorhiza which is more common and has self-pollinating (cleistogamous) flowers that typically do not open (occasional flowers may partially open). Variety pringlei Greenman is found primarily in Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes states and has chasmogamous flowers that open fully to allow for cross-pollination.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY




Michael Hough 2018