E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Corallorhiza trifida Chatelain
yellow coralroot
Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Larry Halverson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #81436)

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Distribution of Corallorhiza trifida
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Species Information

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Perennial, saprophytic herb from coral-like rhizomes; stems 8-20 (30) cm tall, yellowish to greenish, smooth.
Bractlike, sheathing, 2 to 5.
Inflorescence a terminal raceme of 3 to 20 short-stalked, spreading flowers, the bracts scalelike; sepals usually white or yellowish, lanceolate to oblanceolate, 4.5-6 mm long, usually 1-veined, the lower curved forward; lateral petals sepal-like, but slightly shorter and wider; lip oblong, 3-4.5 mm long, white, sometimes faintly red-spotted, the base usually short-lobed or toothed, vaguely toothed beyond the middle; column 2.5-6 mm long, white or yellowish.
Capsules, ellipsoid, drooping, 8-14 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic coniferous and mixed forests in the steppe and montane zones; frequent throughout BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, WV, OH, IL, MN, SD, NM, UT, NV and CA; Greenland, Iceland, and Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Corallorhiza trifida

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 8 1005 1910
Slope Gradient (%) 0 15 205
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 348 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 4 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(71), CWH(1), ESSF(20), ICH(22), IDF(17), MH(1), MS(26), SBPS(12), SBS(56), SWB(4)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is montane boreal & cool temperate.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Corallorhiza corallorhiza (L.) Karst.
Corallorhiza trifida var. verna (Nutt.) Fern.
Corallorrhiza corallorrhiza (L.) Karst. [orthographic variant]
Corallorrhiza trifida Chatelain [orthographic variant]
Corallorrhiza trifida var. verna (Nutt.) Fern. [orthographic variant]

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References