This entry and (I neglected to mention, but now corrected) the two previous entries were written by Alexis:
Corallorhiza, the coral-root orchids, are myco-heterotrophs, vascular plants species that rely on a parasitic relationship with fungi to supply the necessary nutrients to grow. Corallorhiza species have rhizomes instead of roots and even if stems cannot be seen above ground, oftentimes the rhizomes and fungi remain dormant underground. Flowering stems emerge when conditions are favourable (Luer’s The Native Orchids of the United States and Canada (1975)).
Corallorhiza maculata is among the most common and variable of the coral-roots. The stem, sepals, and petals of Corallorhiza maculata var. maculata can be anywhere from brownish-purple to yellowish. The name maculata is Latin for “spotted” (contrast with immaculate, i.e., spotless), a reference to the dark purple spots commonly found on the flower’s white labellum, which is a modified petal used for attracting pollinators. Varying plant colours sometimes delineate different varieties of the species. As an example, if Corallorhiza maculata var. flavida is recognized as a valid variety (it is not so recognized by the Flora of North America), then it is distinguished by its lemon-yellow appearance and bright white unspotted labellum (Szczawinski’s The Orchids of British Columbia (1959)).
Corallorhiza maculata grows best in the decaying humus of coniferous or mixed forests, flowering anywhere from April to September. The range of the species extends across Canada from British Columbia to Newfoundland, south through much of the western USA and northeastern USA, as well as Mexico and Guatemala.