Spring Coralroot

Spring Coralroot, Corallorhiza wisteriana

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While working at a job site this week, Jim and I discovered two locations and a total of thirty spring coralroot stems.

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Spring coralroot, an upland plant (UPL), is Maryland Highly State Rare (S1), State Status endangered (E).

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The plant blooms in mid to late April and into early May, and is an orchid, with a flower that has a white lip, mottled with purple.

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Flowers of this perennial may last only one day.  All of these photos were taken on April 21, 2016.  Although a perennial, the plant may not necessarily rise out of the ground every year.

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This species likes leaf litter, feeds on detritus, and is saprotropic.  The stems can grow to 15-inches tall, and prefer rich, mature woods, along banks of streams.  In our case, all of the plants were found on steep slopes of mature hardwoods, and along streams.

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The plant occurs throughout the United States, but is uncommon everywhere.  It has been documented in seven Maryland counties, with a total of 22 records.  Our location was in Prince George’s County.

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What a great find.

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We made sure to take lots of photographs due to its rarity.

 

 

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