Corallorhiza maculata

Corallorhiza maculata

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Maxillarieae
SubTribe: Corallorhizinae
Genus: Corallorrhiza
Species: C. maculata
Binomial name
Corallorhiza maculata
(Raf.) Raf. 1817

Corallorhiza maculata is a species from the genus Corallorrhiza. It is a cool growing leafless saprophytic orcid.


This orchid 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 stalklike stems bear dark red scales and intricate orchid flowers. Plant has no leaves and remain dormant most of the year. Plant blooms from summer to fall with fifty 1.25 cm red flowers. The 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. In some varieties, the lip is plain white without spots.

Several Native American groups historically used the stems dried and brewed as a tea for such maladies as colds, pneumonia, and skin irritation.


Coralorrhiza maculata is found around rocky slopes, moist shady forest floor growing in humus and rotting leaves in Canada through Guatemala at elevations of 0 to 3700 meters


Corallorhiza maculata2

Corallorrhiza maculata inflorescense


Common Name:Spottted Coral-Root


    • Cladorhiza maculata Raf. 1817
  1. Corallorrhiza grabhamii Cockerell 1903
  2. Corallorrhiza leimbachiana Suksd. 1906
  3. Corallorhiza maculata Greene 1906
  4. Corallorrhiza maculata f. aurea P.M.Br. 1995
  5. Corallorrhiza maculata f. immaculata (M.Peck) J.T.Howell 1970
  6. Corallorrhiza maculata f. rubra P.M.Br. 1995
  7. Corallorrhiza maculata var. flavida (M.Peck) Cockerell 1916
  8. Corallorrhiza maculata var. immaculata M.Peck 1950
  9. Corallorrhiza maculata var. intermedia Farw. 1917
  10. Corallorrhiza maculata var. mexicana (Lindl.) Freudenst. 1997
  11. Corallorrhiza maculata var. occidentalis (Lindl.) Ames 1924
  12. Corallorrhiza maculata var. ozettensis Tischer 2001
  13. Corallorrhiza maculata var. punicea Bartlett 1922
  14. Corallorrhiza mexicana Lindley 1840
  15. Corallorhiza multiflora Nutt. 1823
  16. Corallorrhiza multiflora var. flavida M.Peck 1897
  17. Corallorrhiza multiflora var. occidentalis Lindl. 1840
  18. Neottia mexicana (Lindl.) Kuntze 1891
  19. Neottia multiflora (Nutt.) Kuntze 1891

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