Amer. Monthly Mag. & Crit. Rev. 2: 119. 1817.
Stems ± strongly thickened, base not bulbous. Inflorescences: racemes dense to lax, 10–65 × 1.5–6.5 cm. Flowers 6–41, conspicuous; perianth open; sepals directed forward to somewhat spreading, brown, tan, red, or yellow, often darker distally, lanceolate, 3-veined, 4.7–15 mm; petals frequently curved toward column, nearly adhering to it, tan to yellowish, often red distally, usually spotted with purple, lanceolate to oblanceolate, 4.5–11.5 mm; lip white, usually spotted with purple, obovate to elliptic, thin, lateral lobes 2, rounded, middle lobe oblong to broadly dilated toward apex, with 2 distinct basal lamellae, 4–9 × 1.5–6 mm; column whitish yellow, spotted with purple, usually curved, 3.3–7.8 mm, basally with ridges or poorly developed auricles; ovary 5–14 mm; mentum obscure, adnate to edge of ovary. Capsules pendulous, ellipsoid, 9–24 × 5–9 mm. 2n = 42.
North America, Mexico, Central America (Guatemala).
several color forms exist in corallorhiza maculata, often occurring in proximity and sometimes forming large clumps. white-flowered southern plants have occasionally been misidentified as corallorhiza trifida. dance-flies (empis).have been reported as pollinators (j. l. kipping 1971)
Varieties 3 (2 in the flora).
|1||Middle lobe of lip expanded slightly or not at all distally, ratio of widths of dilated part to base of middle lobe less than 1.5; floral bracts averaging 0.5–1 mm.||Corallorhiza maculata var. maculata|
|1||Middle lobe of lip distinctly expanded, ratio of widths of dilated part to base of middle lobe more than 1.5; floral bracts averaging 1–2.8 mm.||Corallorhiza maculata var. occidentalis|