Corallorhiza maculata (Raf.) Raf.

Spotted coral-root, large coral-root

The specific epithet maculata is the Latin meaning "spotted," and refers to the spotted labellum.

An early-flowering form found around the Great Lakes has more congested racemes. The stems are typically redder than the typical form, and there are minor differences in the shape of the labellum (above on the right).
DESCRIPTION: Plant glabrous, 15-45(-80) cm tall, arising from a branched, coralloid rhizome. Leaves reduced to several bladeless bracts sheathing the stem. Inflorescence a dense to lax terminal raceme, 8-40 flowered; each flower subtended by a small, lanceolate bract. Sepals oblanceolate to linear, 6-10 mm long and about 2 mm wide, reddish-purple and often yellowish, particularly at the base. Petals similar to sepals but shorter. Labellum 3-lobed, ovate to oblong; 4.5-8 mm long and 3-5 mm wide, the margin undulate or crenulate, the base of the central portion with two fleshy ridges, the lateral lobes of the labellum typically inrolled.

Corallorhiza maculata is most likely to be confused with other species of Corallorhiza. It can be separated from C. odontorhiza and C. striata by its undivided labellum. C. maculata is most easily separated from C. trifida by looking at the innervation of the lateral sepals: they are prominently three-nerved in C. maculata, while they have only a single nerve in C. trifida. The two can also be separated by overall size (C. trifida is smaller) and blooming date (C. trifida blooms earlier).

Corallorhiza maculata is found in a variety of upland forested habitats, although it is apparently restricted to dry, acidic soils.

June 10-August 20.

As far as I know, there are no published accounts of pollination for this species. Luer (1975), however, has a photo of a small adrenid bee bearing pollinia from at least two flowers.

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