A Spotted Coralroot Orchid bursts into bloom amongst the sparse understory of a Doug-fir forest in Oregon’s West Cascade Mountains. As is the case with several species of orchids in the Pacific Northwest, the Spotted Coralroot has no leaves, nor chlorophyll by which to sequester solar energy. This is because they are saporphytic, and instead gather energy by breaking down organic matter from the leaf litter in which they grow. Late spring is a wonderful time to explore your nearby woodlands and look for some of Oregon’s many species of wild orchids. They’re easy to find, stunningly beautiful, and are in full bloom from the Willamette Valley to 5,000 feet in Oregon’s west Cascade Mountains.
Ant, Lane County, Orchid, Wildflowers, Willamette National Forest