We found a new plant for the grasslands. I never would have thought I would find this orchid in our area. This is super cool!  I drove home like a mad woman! Why, because the petals were not suppose to stay on for only a couple of hours. And of course we had no idea how long it had been open. And I wanted a good photo so home we went!

This is the plant! Spring Coralroot Orchid (Corallorhiza wisteriana)!
Hard to see don’t you think? It is an orchid that does not have chlorophyll. Instead it gets its nutrients from fungi and is called a myco-heterotrophic type plant! How cool is that! My research on the internet said it is known to stay dormant underground for years between blooms. This is what the US Forest Service has to say about the Spring Coralroot.  A MONOGRAPH OF CORALLORHIZA (ORCHIDACEAE) Harvard Papers in Botany © 1997 says there is no literature on the pollination of Corallorhiza wisteriana
So these photos with the black background are taken with my Canon.

This plant is just so cool!
These photos with the white background were taken under the dissecting microscope at 10X.
Petals had fallen off.

Three sepals.

Down the throat.

This plant is so cool! Karma was with us. We were actually heading back to the cars when we found it. After we found the plant, the pace picked up. We were not that far from the cars…maybe 1/4 mile. Did I mention, we were excited on our find!
Tomorrow I will post our other nice finds from today’s grasslands adventure. Always fun!

Keep looking!


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