Corallorhiza trifida Chatelain

Early Coral Root, Northern Coral Root

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: Corallorhiza trifida var. verna

Corallorhiza trifida, commonly called Early Coral Root, is broadly distributed across northern and western North America, from Newfoundland to California. In spring or early summer it produces up to 20 pale, yellowish-green to purple-brown flowers, with a white labellum often spotted with purple. The lateral petals and dorsal sepal are connivent and curve hood-like over the column. The stems are glabrous, and vary from 2" to 10" tall. It is found in moist coniferous, deciduous, or mixed forests, and in swamps or bogs. .

Corallorhiza trifida is considered globally secure, although it may be rare in the southern part of its range.


This orchid is capable of self-pollination after the flower has opened but insect pollination can occur before and after self-fertilization, although specific pollinator information for this orchid has not been reported.

Ecosystem Type

Alpine or subalpine zones, bogs, disturbed habitats, forests, meadows, swamps, tundra, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
this plant has no leaves
Number of leaves on stem:
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:
2.5–5 mm
Sepal length:
3.5–7 mm
Plant height:
8–36 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 Secure
US Status N/A
Canadian Status Secure

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data