Striped Coralroot – Corallorhiza striata

Orchid Family – Orchidaceae

Actual flower size: 1 inch across

Actual flower size: 1 inch across

Plant Description: Striped Coralroot is a perennial saprophyte from branched, coral-like rhizomes. The stems are 12 to 20 inches tall,  reddish brown, purple, or yellow with several clasping bracts in place of leaves and 7 to 25 flowers along the top half of the stem.

Flower Description: The 5 upper tepals are 1 inch long, pink to yellowish pink or brown with 3 to 5 stripes of deep red or purple and are widely spread and droop over the lower lip.  The stripes in the lip often merge making it deep maroon to purple. It is wider than the other tepals, ridged, cupped and without lobes or spur. Occasionally there is an albino specimen.

Ecology: Striped Coralroot grows in deep, moist forests at low to middle elevations.


  • Striped Coralroot is a saprophyte, feeding off decomposing forest litter and hence needs no chlorophyll or sunlight. It is dependant on a complex group of fungi present in the soil. Although they do not need sunlight, they most often grow where there is intermittent light.
  • It gets its name from the spreading, coal-like rhizomes.

Striped Coralroot Photo Gallery

Photo information: #4938 was taken on July 27, 2002, near Swamp Lake, I-90 exit 62, Lake Kachess Road; #3213 was taken on May 14, 2005, on the Dog Mountain Trail, Columbia Gorge, Hwy 14, Carson, WA;  #4464 was taken on June 9, 2009, on the Chiwaukum Creek Trail, US 2, Leavenworth, WA;  #1992, #1999, and #2002 were taken on June 24, 2008, on the Chiwaukum Creek Trail, US 2, Leavenworth, WA.


Actual flower size: 1 inch across