Friday, October 23, 2009

Slide Show Rejects - Corallorhiza

The eighth annual botany slide show is rapidly approaching, and in preparation I have been going through photos from our trip to Colorado this July. My slide show will highlight the montane, subalpine, and alpine communities that we saw in central and northcentral Colorado.

Until now, I hadn't posted many of the photos from our trip, as I wasn't sure which photos I was going to include in my slide show and I didn't want to spoil my show for those in attendance. Now that I've picked the photos for my presentation, I will start displaying some of the rejects here and at Through Handlens and Binoculars.

This is Corallorhiza trifida (Yellow Coralroot), a bit past its prime. We saw this saprophytic subalpine orchid along the Missouri Lakes trail at Holy Cross Wilderness.

Corallorhiza trifida is typically self-pollinating. It is circumboreal, found in a variety of habitats including swamps and coniferous, deciduous, and mixed woods.

Corallorhiza striata (Hooded or Striped Coralroot), pictured directly above and below, is an orchid of deep, moist woods.

We stumbled upon this unique orchid at Hanging Lake preserve, which is located along the Continental Divide near Glenwood Springs. It was growing in a mixed woods that had a remarkably eastern feel to it.


Keith Board said...

Wow, Scott, those are nice rejects - I wish I could see the keepers! What are some recommended books for plants in that region? Did you buy books or key plants online?

Keith Board said...

Also, I wouldn't have expected Coralroots in the Rockies. Nice finds!

Scott Namestnik said...

Thanks Keith. I'll post more of the keepers after the slide show. In addition to the two Corallorhiza species, we saw at least three other orchid species, with one being pretty common.

Eric knew a lot of the plants, and he had a couple of keys (but I don't remember what they were). I had Guide to Colorado Wildflowers Vols. I and II, and supplemented this with Plants of Rocky Mountain National Park (includes keys), Rocky Mountain Flora (keys only), Alpine Wildflowers, Prairie Wildflowers, and Forest Wildflowers. I wouldn't have bought all of those books, but we plan to go back often. There are also several good resources online, including,,, and

Justin R. Thomas said...

There is a flora of Colorado by Weber. It comes in two volumes and is one of the most difficult floras I have ever used.

Scott Namestnik said...

Rocky Mountain Flora was written by Weber as well, before he started using new names for everything. It wasn't too bad to use. We used one of his new volumes a bit as well, and I agree that it was extremely difficult to use.