Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Stems ± strongly thickened, base not bulbous. Inflorescences: racemes dense to lax, 10–65 × 1.5–6.5 cm. Flowers 6–41, conspicuous; perianth open; sepals directed forward to somewhat spreading, brown, tan, red, or yellow, often darker distally, lanceolate, 3-veined, 4.7–15 mm; petals frequently curved toward column, nearly adhering to it, tan to yellowish, often red distally, usually spotted with purple, lanceolate to oblanceolate, 4.5–11.5 mm; lip white, usually spotted with purple, obovate to elliptic, thin, lateral lobes 2, rounded, middle lobe oblong to broadly dilated toward apex, with 2 distinct basal lamellae, 4–9 × 1.5–6 mm; column whitish yellow, spotted with purple, usually curved, 3.3–7.8 mm, basally with ridges or poorly developed auricles; ovary 5–14 mm; mentum obscure, adnate to edge of ovary. Capsules pendulous, ellipsoid, 9–24 × 5–9 mm. 2n = 42.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Cladorhiza maculata Rafinesque, Amer. Monthly Mag. & Crit. Rev. 1: 429. 1817
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Type Information

Isotype for Corallorhiza multiflora var. sulphurea Suksd.
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.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Corallorhiza maculata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Threats

Comments: Somewhat threatened by land-use conversion and habitat fragmentation (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).

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Wikipedia

Corallorhiza maculata

Corallorhiza maculata, or spotted coralroot, is a North American coralroot orchid flower.[3] 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.[1][4][5]

Description[edit]

The Corallorhiza maculata side petals are reddish, and the lip petal is bright clean white with deep red spots.

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.

Uses[edit]

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.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.
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Notes

Comments

Several color forms exist in Corallorhiza maculata, often occurring in proximity and sometimes forming large clumps. White-flowered southern plants have occasionally been misidentified as Corallorhiza trifida. Dance-flies (Empis) have been reported as pollinators (J. L. Kipping 1971).
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Names and Taxonomy

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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