[Coral Roots of the Cascade Mountain Range of Oregon and Washington]

Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot

Corallorhiza mertensiana

Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea

Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea)

A gold-colored form of merten's coralroot from dark woods along the Butte Camp Trail #238A, Mount Saint Helens National Monument.........June 9, 2015.

Photo at right of Merten's coralroot from South Prairie RD, Gifford Pinchot N.F........June 30, 1990.
Characteristics:

Merten's coralroot is a small flowered orchid which grows to 18 inches tall. The plant is reddish in color, although it may be a somewhat tannish color at times. 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.


Habitat:

Merten's coralroot is found in moist, coniferous forests.


Range:

Merten's coralroot 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.


Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea) - Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea) - Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea)

Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea) - Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea) - Flower of Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea)

Merten's coralroot as seen in coniferous forest near timberline along the Butte Camp Trail, Mount Saint Helens National Monument..........July 9, 2013.

Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea) - Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea) - Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea)

A gold-colored form of merten's coralroot from dark woods along the Butte Camp Trail #238A, Mount Saint Helens National Monument.........June 9, 2015.

Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea) - Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea)

Merten's coralroot blooming along the Soda Peaks Lake Trail #133 about one-half mile south of the trailhead, Trapper Creek Wilderness.......July 8, 2018.

Merten's Coralroot, Merten's Coral Root, Pacific Coralroot, Western Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana (Synonyms: Corallorhiza maculata ssp. mertensiana, Corallorhiza purpurea)

Merten's coralroot as seen along the Pacific Crest Trail #2000 about one mile uphill from the Barlow Pass trailhead, Mount Hood National Forest.........July 19, 2014.

Merten's Coralroot, Western Coralroot, Pacific Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana

Photo above of Merten's coralroot from near the Whitewater Trail Trailhead, Mt Jefferson Wilderness.........June 19, 1992.

Merten's Coralroot, Western Coralroot, Pacific Coralroot: Corallorhiza mertensiana

  Photo above of Merten's coralroot from the Columbia Wilderness, near Wahtum Lake...........7-10-94.

Paul Slichter