Corallorhiza odontorhiza
(Willd.) Nutt.
Autumn Coralroot

Location Ontario
Specific Habitat

Confined to the Carolinian zone and reliably reported only from the counties of Elgin, Kent, Lambton, Lincoln (Regional Municipality of Niagara) and Norfolk. Usually associated with oak and pine in sandy soil. Once locally common in 30-50 year old pine plantations near St. Williams in Norfolk County (Landon, 1960).

Flowering Season



Height to 20 cm; leafless.
Raceme loose with a moderate number of flowers.
Flowers small and with little spreading, purplish, white lip spotted with magenta or purple , curved, finely toothed along the margin.
A dull yellowish or greenish form with unspotted white lip (f. flavida `Wherry) has been found in Kent and Lambton Counties (R. Brown pers. com.) And in Norfolk County (CAN, TRT).


A small flower which scarcely opens. Sepals and petals in a claw-like form converge over the lip. At flowering time, the ovaries are large and swollen and dominate the bloom. It is probable that a mechanism of self-pollination is involved. Once locally common in 30 - 50 year old pine plantations near St Williams in Norfolk County : in 1951 a stand of several thousand (Landon, 1960). The orchids have been all but wiped out by encroaching poison ivy where tree thinning occurred.


Orchids of Ontario


© Royal Botanical Gardens, Dr. Donald Gunn Image Collection.