Corallorrhiza Gagnebin, orth. var.
Corallorhiza, the coralroot orchids, is a genus of flowers in the orchid family. Most species are leafless, relying entirely upon symbiotic fungi within their coral-shaped roots for sustenance. Because of this dependence on myco-heterotrophy within their mycorrhizae, they cannot be successfully cultivated.
Most species do not produce chlorophyll, and do not depend on photosynthesis for energy. An exception is the yellowish green species Corallorhiza trifida, which has some chlorophyll and is only partially dependent on its fungal associates for nutrition.
Except for the circumboreal C. trifida, the genus is restricted to the New World.
List of species
- Zimmer, K., et al. (2008). The ectomycorrhizal specialist orchid Corallorhiza trifida is a partial myco-heterotroph. New Phytologist 178:2 395-400.
- Freudenstein, J.V., A Monograph of Corallorhiza. Harvard Papers in Botany 10:5-51, 1997
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