A showy native orchid with striped red petals and sepals, lower lip dark red, flowers to 2 cm diameter, growing in a long spike along the stem. Blooms in late May through mid June. The plant has no chlorophyll and lives off leaf litter on the forest floor (is saprophytic). Its leaves are semi-transparent sheaths clasping the stem. I've measured plants to 30 cm tall.
Native to coniferous and aspen woodlands, as is the Spotted Coral Root (C. maculata).
Not common, listed as an S2S3 by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre. We've found them occasionally in forest at widely scattered locations in the southern half of the province.
Took the above photos June 4th edge of swampy ground Cypress Hills, 450 km southwest of Regina, SK, and May 27th in aspen woods, about 70 km SW of our home in Regina, SK
I get preachy here: please don't dig up native orchids to try to grow them in your garden. They are becoming rare in the wild due to loss of habitat and wild harvesting. By all accounts they are also quite difficult to transplant successfully from the wild. If you want to grow them in your garden, there are nurseries who grow native orchids from seed who will sell plants to you.
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