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

Corallorhiza maculata (Raf.) Raf.
spotted coralroot (summer coralroot)
Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ian Gardiner  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #27153)

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Distribution of Corallorhiza maculata
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Species Information

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Perennial, saprophytic herb from coral-like rhizomes; stems (15) 20-55 cm tall, red to yellow-brown, smooth.
Bractlike and sheathing.
Inflorescence a terminal raceme of 10 to 40 short-stalked, erect to spreading and ultimately bent back flowers, the bracts scalelike; sepals usually the same colour as stem, oblong to lanceolate, 5.5-10 mm long, the lower spreading; lateral petals deep pink to red, sometimes dark-spotted; lip 5-7 mm long, white, red- to purple-spotted, base with 2 lateral lobes, larger terminal lobe irregularly fine-toothed; spur less than 2.5 mm long; column 3-5 mm long, curved over lip, yellowish, purple-spotted.
Capsules, egg-shaped, drooping, 15-20 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent throughout BC, especially along the coast, south of 55 degrees N, rare northward; E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, SC, TN, IA, TX, NM, AZ and CA; Guatemala.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Corallorhiza maculata

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) 0 682 1850
Slope Gradient (%) 0 24 150
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 206 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 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(29), CDF(15), CWH(254), ESSF(3), ICH(221), IDF(44), MH(2), MS(13), PP(3), SBPS(12), SBS(68)

Ecological Indicator Information

Shade-tolerant, submontane to subalpine, saprophyte. Transcontinental North American. Species occurs on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-poor soils within boreal, temperate, and cool mesothermal climates. Sporadic in the mossy understory of coniferous forests on water-shedding and water-receiving sites; commonly associated with Gaultheria shallon, Hylocomium splendens, and Rhytidiadelphus loreus. Oxylophytic species characteristic of Mor humus forms.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Corallorhiza maculata subsp. maculata
Corallorhiza maculata subsp. mertensiana (Bong.) Calder & Roy L. Taylor
Corallorrhiza maculata (Raf.) Raf. [orthographic variant]
Corallorrhiza maculata subsp. mertensiana (Bong.) Calder & Roy L. Taylor, orth. var.
Corallorrhiza mertensiana

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References