Apr. 3, 2017

striped coralroot, Corallorhiza striata.

Coralroot puts down some very interesting roots. Coralroots are entirely parasitic on fungus. They have no green parts. They are even dependent on the fungi to make the root connection that provides nutrients. The fungi invade the orchid to get carbohydrates they cannot produce for themselves. In turn, the coralroot gets water and minerals, particularly nitrogen. There is even evidence that the fungi dole out water and nutrients depending on varying soil conditions. The fungus has much finer and more extensive roots, with much greater ability to reach and absorb water and soil nutrients. These flowers are about 1/4 inch across. Striped coralroot grows in mostly coniferous forests in AZ(S), CA, CO, ID, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, NM, NV, NY(E), OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY, AB, BC, MB, NF, ON, QC, and SK. Emmet Co MI, 5/25/12