Bletia corallicola (Small) Sosa & M.W.Chase

Carter's Orchid

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Basiphyllaea angustifolia, Basiphyllaea corallicola, Carteria corallicola

Bletia corallicola, commonly known as Carter's Orchid, is distributed in the Bahamas, West Indies as well as Florida. This diminutive species produces 1-2 basal leaves which are present at the time of flowering. It bears an inflorescence of 3 to 10 small yellow-green flowers that may not open completely. The labellum is lobed and primarily white with a suffusion of crimson. It blooms in September through November, however, blooms do not occur with regularity each year. This orchid has been found in Florida's coral-rock pinelands located in Monroe and Miami-Dade counties. Only a few sightings have been documented since its discovery in 1903.

Bletia corallicola is considered globally imperiled and endangered in Florida.


This orchid has flower buds that barely open, often forming fruit without the flowers ever expanding. Unlike most orchids, these flowers lack a rostellum which would create a barrier between the stigmatic surface and pollen and prevent self-pollination. High fruit set observed in the field indicates this orchid is self-pollinating in at least part of its range and does not require an insect to transfer pollen.

Ecosystem Type

Forests, woodlands


  • lithophyte
  • terrestrial
Leaf arrangement:
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is lobed
Main color of labellum:
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a raceme
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is lobed
Labellum length:
7–10 mm
Sepal length:
8–13 mm
Plant height:
10–40 cm
Show All Characteristics

Native to North America


North American Conservation Status & Distribution

Conservation Status

Select a location to view conservation status:

Conservation and Wetland Status
Global Rank Imperiled
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data