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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Orchidaceae | Corallorhiza

6. Corallorhiza maculata (Rafinesque) Rafinesque, Amer. Monthly Mag. & Crit. Rev. 2: 119. 1817.

Spotted coral-root, corallorhize maculée

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

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.

Varieties 3 (2 in the flora): North America, Mexico, Central America (Guatemala).

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).


Freudenstein, J. V. 1987. A preliminary study of Corallorhiza maculata (Orchidaceae) in eastern North America. Contr. Univ. Michigan Herb. 16: 145–153.

1 Middle lobe of lip expanded slightly or not at all distally, ratio of widths of dilated part to base of middle lobe less than 1.5; floral bracts averaging 0.5–1 mm.   6a var. maculata
+ Middle lobe of lip distinctly expanded, ratio of widths of dilated part to base of middle lobe more than 1.5; floral bracts averaging 1–2.8 mm.   6b var. occidentalis


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