J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 6: 145. 1829.
Stems red-purple to yellowish brown to yellow, base not strongly thickened nor bulbous. Inflorescences: racemes lax to dense, 10–55 × 1.3–3.5 cm. Flowers 2–25, inconspicuous; perianth open; sepals and petals purplish brown, often greenish distally, or pure yellow, 3-veined; sepals lanceolate, 4.5–10 mm; lateral sepals upcurved, connivent with dorsal sepal and petals, forming hood over column, somewhat falcate; petals often spotted with purple, broadly lanceolate, 4–7.2 mm; lip white, often spotted with purple, ovate to suborbiculate, unlobed, 4–7.5 × 2.5–7.5 mm, with 2 distinct basal lamellae, margins erose-denticulate to nearly entire; column curved toward lip, yellow to white, often with purplish apex, 2.4–5 mm, with basal auricles; ovary 3–8 mm; mentum present. Capsules ellipsoid-obovoid, 7–14 × 3.5–6.2 mm.
Phenology: Flowering Jan–Jul, according to latitude.
Habitat: Deciduous and coniferous woods, often preferring richer habitats than other coral-roots
Elevation: 0–3100 m
Ala., Ariz., Ark., Colo., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., La., Md., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., N.J., N.Mex., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Va., Wash., W.Va., Wyo., Mexico.
Western collections of Corallorhiza wisteriana have frequently been misidentified as C. maculata. Antho-cyanin-free forms from the central states have been misidentified as C. trifida.