25 Mei 2010

Corallorhiza maculata

Corallorhiza maculata, or spotted coralroot, is a North American coralroot orchid flower. Varieties are also known as western coralroot and summer coralroot.

It is found from Mexico to Canada, mostly in woodlands. This orchid is a myco-heterotroph; it lacks chlorophyll and gets food by parasitizing the mycelium of fungi in the family Russulaceae.

The rhizome and lower stem are often knotted into branched coral shapes. The stem is usually red or brown in color, but occasionally comes in a light yellow or cream color.

There are no leaves and no photosynthetic green tissues. The stalklike stems bear dark red scales and intricate orchid flowers. The flowers are small and emerge regularly from all sides of the stem.

The sepals are dark red or brown tinged with purple, long and pointed. The side petals are reddish, and the lip petal is bright clean white with deep red spots.

It is usually lobed or toothed on the side and 7–10 mm. In some varieties, the lip is plain white without spots.

Several Native American groups historically used the stems dried and brewed as a tea for such maladies as colds, pneumonia, and skin irritation.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corallorhiza_maculata

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