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.
SIMILAR SPECIES: 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).
HABITAT: Corallorhiza maculata is found in a variety of upland
forested habitats, although it is apparently restricted to dry, acidic soils.
FLOWERING DATES: June 10-August 20.
POLLINATION: 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.
WI DISTRIBUTION: U.S. DISTRIBUTION:
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