Forest Treasures

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Finding wild Orchids growing in the forest always feels like finding a little treasure, a treasure offered by the forest itself. Sometimes the treasure is small and hidden deep in the undergrowth as was the fairy slipper above.

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Other times the treasure sits alone in the forest waiting for you to some along as this spring coral root did on recent day.

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And every once in awhile the treasure sings out to you saying look at me as the Striped Coralroot has a habit to do.Treasures_4Any time I find these orchids growing in the forest it does indeed feel like finding a small treasure that brightens the day.

Striped Coralroot: Corallorhiza striata

Hidden deep in the forest, or happily saying hello in small forest clearings, this spring has brought an abundance of Striped Coralroot:Corallorhiza striata.

Corallorhiza striata is mycohetertrophic and uses fungus to provide nutrients for its own growth as Corallorhiza does not photosynthesize.

This orchid was just pushing up through the soil in a small clearing in the forest covered with grass.

Others were hidden in the dense undergrowth in the forest.

While many we found grew as single stalks or in groups of two or three some grew in larger clusters.

Corallorhiza striata is found in a wide geographical range encompassing all of Canada and most of the western United States and prefers cooler climates.

According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center “After producing flower stalks, the rhizomes may remain dormant for several years so seeing them in bloom may not occurs again next year but I sure hope so.