Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Catalog Number: US 529610
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): W. N. Suksdorf
Year Collected: 1900
Locality: Klickitat, Washington, United States, North America
- Isotype: Suksdorf, W. N. 1906. Allg. Bot. Z. Syst. 12: 42.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Corallorhiza maculata
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Comments: Somewhat threatened by land-use conversion and habitat fragmentation (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).
Corallorhiza maculata, or spotted coralroot, is a North American coralroot orchid flower. Varieties are also known as western coralroot and summer coralroot. It is widespread through Mexico, Guatemala, Canada, St. Pierre & Miquelon, and much of the Western and northern United States (though generally absent from the Great Plains and from the lowland parts of the Southeast). It grows mostly in montane woodlands.
Corallorhiza maculata is a myco-heterotroph; it lacks chlorophyll and gets food by parasitizing the mycelium of fungi in the family Russulaceae. The rhizome and lower stem are often knotted into branched coral shapes. The stem is usually red or brown in color, but occasionally comes in a light yellow or cream color. There are no leaves and no photosynthetic green tissues. The stems bear dark red scales and intricate orchid flowers.
Corallorhiza maculata flowers are small and emerge regularly from all sides of the stem. The sepals are dark red or brown tinged with purple, long and pointed. The side petals are reddish, and the lip petal is bright clean white with deep red spots. It is usually lobed or toothed on the side and 7–10 mm. In some varieties, the lip is plain white without spots.
Several Native American groups historically used the orchid's stems dried and brewed as a tea for such maladies as colds, pneumonia, and skin irritation.
Corallorhiza macluata is also the topic of the poem On Going Unnoticed by Robert Frost.
- Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Corallorhiza maculata
- Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Corallorhiza maculata var. maculata
- Sierra Nevada Wildflowers, Karen Wiese, 2nd ed., 2013, p99
- Biota of North America Program, distribution map
- Flora of North America, v 26 p 637, Corallorhiza maculata
- Taylor, D.L. & T.D. Bruns. (1997). Independent, specialized invasions of ectomycorrhizal mutualism by two nonphotosynthetic orchids. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA vol. 94 pp. 4510–4515.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Spelling of genus with one 'r' (Corallorhiza) has been conserved; see Taxon 48(2):363 (May, 1999) for more information (pers. comm. John Kartesz, Aug. 1999).
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