The photo above shows a close-up of the attractive flowers of spotted coral root as seen along the Island Springs Trail on the eastern slopes of Mt. Adams........July 1, 2005. Note the reddish spots on the white, lower lip. Plants range from reddish (as this is) to a tan color.
Spotted coral root is a small flowered orchid which grows to 40 cm tall. The plant is purplish to reddish in color, although it may be a somewhat yellow-tannish color as an albino form. 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, and narrowly oblong to narrowly oblanceolate in shape. The spur found on Corallorhiza mertensiana is absent or greatly reduced on this species.
The petals are slightly shorter than the sepals. The lower petal lip is white, with red spots covering it.
Corallorhiza maculata may be identified from Corallorhiza mertensiana by its generally lighter red coloration, white lower lip with red spots, and greatly reduced or absent spur.
Spotted coral root is found in moist, coniferous to deciduous forests.
Spotted coral root is found from British Columbia east to Quebec, and south through Michigan through the western United States to Utah, New Mexico, and northern Mexico.
In the Columbia River Gorge, spotted coral root is found between the elevations of 100'-4200' from about Multnomah Falls east to approximately Lyle, WA.