Corallorhiza bentleyi Freudenst.

Bentley's Coral Root

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: none

Corallorhiza bentleyi, commonly known as Bentley's Coral Root, is found only in Virginia and West Virginia where it was discovered in 1999; it is limited to about 15 populations spread over 5 counties. Like other members of the Corallorhiza genus, this orchid is myco-heterotrophic: it primarily obtains nutrients not from photosynthesis but through mycorrhizal fungi. It lacks leaves, has a reddish to yellow stem, and produces up to 20 small, inconspicuous flowers of the same color. It is most closely related to C. striata, which is the only other Corallorhiza species to have an unlobed labellum with thickened, inward turning margins; however, C. bentleyi flowers later in the summer (July-August), while C. striata flowers earlier (May-June). It grows in deciduous forests, often near disturbed edges of forests or along roadsides.

Corallorhiza bentleyi is considered globally imperiled.


This orchid is self-pollinating with flowers that remain closed (cleistogamous).

Ecosystem Type

Forests, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
this plant has no leaves
Number of leaves on stem:
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is not pouch-like
Main color of labellum:
  • pink to red
  • yellow
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a raceme
Labellum length:
5.7–5.9 mm
Sepal length:
5.5–6 mm
Plant height:
2–20 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 Critically Imperiled
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data