Corallorhiza striata

Location Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia
Specific Habitat

Dry to moist clear floors in coniferous and deciduous forests and in a variety of other situations. Absent from the Carolinian Zone but widespread and rather local elsewhere in Ontario to 50 L. Perhaps most frequent on the Bruce Peninsula and on Manitoulin Island, where it is found in dry cedar woodlands where limestone is near the surface. In the Ottawa area it grows in partial sun among widely-spaced clumps of Eastern White Cedar on the limestone plains of the southwest and under the deeper shade of Balsam Fir and Eastern Hemlock on the Canadian Shield to the north. It is also found in dappled to deep shade in mixed forests of Eastern White Pine, Balsam Fir, Sugar Maple, Beech, and Eastern White Cedar. Under a covering of leaf and/or needle humus, the substrate is usually sand, occasionally clay. A few colonies have been encountered growing among the mosses or in the wet organic soil of Eastern White Cedar-Balsam Fir swamps.

Flowering SeasonMid-June to early July. This is the first of the Corallorhiza to bloom.

Height to 45 cm; stem erect, stout, succulent and leafless, madder-purple to brownish-purple with 3-4 slightly inflated sheaths at the base paler than the stem.
Raceme a loose group of drooping flowers.
Flowers pinkish-yellow or white, tinged and conspicuously striped with reddish purple, large for genus; petals form a loose hood with the dorsal sepal; lip tongue-shaped, pendant, somewhat reflexed, fleshy, not lobed, 3 stripes at base merging at apex. Bilobed callus near middle of base.


One of our most striking plants. The distinctive red striping of the flower provides immediate identification. The flowers are dime-sized and have translucent sparkle. It is primarily a western species, where a common companion plant is Corallorhiza maculata.


Orchids of Ontario
The Canadian Field-Naturalist Vol III - 1
The Orchids of Bruce & Grey


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