The photo above shows a close-up frontal view of the flower of Merten's coral root as seen from along the Umatilla Rim Trail #3080 near Tollgate in the Umatilla N.F..........June 24, 2007. Note the two small, narrow lobes, one at each side of the lower lip.
Merten's coral root is a small flowered orchid which grows 15-50 cm tall. The plant is reddish in color, although it may be a somewhat tannish color at times. The flowering scapes are mostly reddish and have up to 3 sheathing scales.
The flowers number up to 30, and may be well spaced to crowded on the upper stem. The sepals are from 8 to 10 mm long, 12 to 15 mm wide, and narrowly oblong to narrowly oblanceolate in shape. The lateral pair of sepals join below to form a rounded, saccate spur 1 to 3 mm long. The petals are slightly broader than the sepals and roughly equal in size. The lower petal is deep pink to red with three main veins which may be yellowish to dark red. Corallorhiza mertensiana may be identified from Corallorhiza maculata by its generally deeper red, unspotted lip, and by the more-pronounced spur.
Merten's coral root is found in moist, coniferous forests.
Merten's coral root is found from southern Alaska to southeastern British Columbia and eastward to Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. It is found southward to the Columbia Gorge and south to northwestern California.
The photo above shows Merten's coral root as seen from along the Umatilla Rim Trail #3080 near Tollgate in the Umatilla N.F.........June 24, 2007.
The photo above shows a light phase of Merten's coral root from the Mark Hatfield Wilderness, near Wahtum Lake...........7-10-94.