Spring Coralroot

Spring Coralroot, Corallorhiza wisteriana


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


What a great find.


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