Herbs & Plants

Corallorhiza maculata

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Botanical Name : Corallorhiza maculata
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Maxillarieae
Subtribe: Corallorhizinae
Genus: Corallorhiza
Species: C. maculata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Name : Summer Coralroot, Spotted coralroot, Varieties are also known as western coralroot and summer coralroot

Habitat :Corallorhiza maculata is native to N. America – Nova Scotia to British Columbia, south to Florida, New Mexico and California ?ows on leaf mold in woods. Moist to dry coniferous and deciduous woods, and conifer plantations, often in florests with little other herbaceous cover at elevations of 0 – 3700 metres.

Corallorhiza maculata is a perennial orchid plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is in flower from Jun to August. 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. It is usually lobed or toothed on the side and 7–10 mm. In some varieties, the lip is plain white without spots.


Corallorhiza maculata 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 stems bear dark red scales and intricate orchid flowers. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.
Medicinal Uses:
An infusion of the plant has been used as a lotion in the treatment of ringworm and skin diseases. An infusion of the dried, whole plant bits has been used in the treatment of colds. A decoction of the stalks has been used to ‘build up the blood’ of people suffering from pneumonia.Several Native American groups historically used the orchid’s stems dried and brewed as a tea for such maladies as colds, pneumonia, and skin irritation. Corallorhiza macluata is also the topic of the poem On Going Unnoticed by Robert Frost.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.