Crested Coral Root
Hexalectris is a small genus of terrestrial orchids primarily distributed in the mountains of northern Mexico and across the southwest. Only one species, H. spicata, is widely distributed across the eastern US to Arizona to northern Mexico. Similar to Corallorhiza, all species of Hexalectris are myco-heterotrophic. They produce little to no chlorophyll, generally do not photosynthesize, and rely on mycorrhizal fungi almost exclusively for nutrition. They lack leaves and their stems are usually yellowish brown, pink, or red. They produce up to 25 small, resupinate flowers, usually brown, purple, or maroon, with a labellum that is occasionally tipped with white or yellow. Hexalectris grow in a wide variety of habitats, from moist to dry woodlands and forests to rocky canyons and dry, open terrain.