Mar. 23, 2020

autumn coralroot, Corallorhiza odontorhiza

Autumn coralroot is one of the orchids that are completely parasitic. They have no green parts. They are nourished by fungus associated with their roots. The fungus attaches to the roots of trees, mostly oaks, and gets its nourishment from there. These orchids in turn feed from the fungus. Autumn coralroot has two varieties. The most common variety has flowers that self fertilize and never open. Variety pringlei, shown here, also mostly doesn't open. Open flowers like this are a rarity, and even these mostly self fertilize. These flowers are no more than a quarter inch long. Autumn coralroot grows in woods in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA(S), MD, ME(E), MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH(E), NJ, NY(V), OH, OK, PA, RI(E), SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT(T), WI, WV, ON, and QC(T). Grand traverse Co MI, 9/17/13. Orchid family, Orchidaceae.