Corallorhiza trifida (Early, Northern, Green Coralroot) - photos and description



15 cm ruler 






General: Native orchid with small flowers in late May through June. Its green or yellow-green stems may indicate this species uses photosynthesis to generate sugars in addition to fungi in the soil to derive sugars from the roots of surrounding plants.

Flowers: The flowers grow in a short spike, the spike growing about 1/4 the length of the stem. Each flower has a white lip, the two lateral petals and dorsal (top) sepal are yellowish-green in colour and arch over the lip. The two lateral sepals are spreading. I measured an entire flower at only 6 mm long and 8 mm wide.

Leaves: Leaves have evolved to a translucent sheath clasping the stem.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 30 cm, we've measured plants to 19 cm tall. The smallest of our three native Coral Roots.

Habitat: Moist coniferous woods.

Abundance: Listed as common by Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Took the above photos May 21st lodgepole pine forest, Cypress Hills, 450 km southwest of Regina, SK, June 4th, and in the boreal forest in the Porcupine Hills, 400 km northeast of Regina, SK, June 28th moist woods Cypress Hills 200 km southwest of Regina, SK, and June 29th, Nisbet Provincial Forest about 375 km north of our home in Regina, SK.