What plant is that?

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Purple-red form of Autumn Coral Root     Tan form of Autumn Coral Root  
Photo credits: © Francis R. Underwood 2012

This plant is a perennial which has no leaves and no chlorophyll. It gets its organic carbon from mycorrhizal fungi in the soil which are attached to green plants. The very small (¼ inch) irregular flowers on this plant are often closed, but the white lip with small purple spots is often visible. The stem is purple-red or sometimes tan and stands from 3 to 8 inches tall. The small size of the plant and the flowers make this plant easily overlooked. It grows in rich, open woods and blooms in late summer and fall from August to October. It is listed on the RI Rare Plant list as endangered.

It’s. . .

Botanical Name:
Corallorhiza odontorhiza
Common Name:
  Autumn Coral Root Orchid
  Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)
  Rich open woods

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