(Plate XC V.)
Northward across the continent.
Flowers: growing closely in a terminal raceme on a stout scape. Sepals and petals almost alike, the lip being broader than either of them. Leaves: none. Stem: one to two feet high with a number of scale-like appendages at the base. Rootstock: much branched and toothed, similar to that of coral.
Unless we were well acquainted with the family traditions of the orchids it would hardly be suspected that the coral-root is a member of the family. But intimacy with it reveals much, as is usually the case with most plants. It is far from being well known and chooses for its home the cool, deep woods of the north.
C. Multiflora, coral-root, is a common and unattractive member of this genus which is found in rather open woods. The flowers are small, purplish or yellow, and grow in a raceme. As the above species, it is without green foliage.
Simply that a plant is called an orchis will sometimes cast abroad the impression that its bloom must be beautiful. But the orchis family is no different from other families. It has its plain members as well as those that are beautiful. Each one is possessed of its own individuality and weaves out its own destiny.