Native Orchid News:
Newsletter of Native Orchid Conservation Inc.
Volume 2, Issue 2 - April 2000

Native Orchid Conservation Inc.
35 St.Michael Rd, Winnipeg,MB R2M2K7
For more information on NOCI, contact Bud Ewacha at 253-4741 or email

Board Meetings:
First Wednesday of every month: 7:30pm, Powerland Computers, 562 St.Mary's Rd

Field Trips:
See page 2 for upcoming field trips to Native Orchid Conservation Inc. study areas.  All are welcome.

Orchid of the month:
Early Coralroot (Corallorhiza trifida)

As the ice melts on the lakes and the Prairie Crocus' begin to bloom, we look forward to an exciting "orchid spring". For those of you who want to get out and see orchids in the wild, we have a number of field trips planned. This will be an interesting opportunity to learn more about these beautiful and sometimes elusive native plants.

Looking back over the past month, the Native Orchid Conservation Inc. Annual General Meeting (March 8) was a well-attended success. Bud Ewacha's presentation on "Orchids through the Year" was certainly an informative introduction to orchid identification from springtime to the winter months. If you had a chance to attend the recent Manitoba Orchid Society show at the Assiniboine Park Conservatory (March 17-19) you would have witnessed a flurry of activity at the NOCI display booth. It is very encouraging to see the level of interest that our group is attracting at these type of events among both experienced orchid enthusiasts and the public at large. There has been particular interest in some of our key projects such as: the Gull Lakes Wetlands botanical survey, the Effect of Selective Cutting on Orchid Populations in Sandilands Provincial Forest, and Pathology in Cypripediums. (For more information on our projects, please refer to our webpage

We are very pleased to be part of Quebec2000, a millennium wetland event in Quebec City, August 5-12th. NOCI will have a display on native orchids and insect-eating plants. Also of note, our own Doris Ames discussed "Manitoba's Native Orchids" in an interview with CBC Radio's "As It Happens" on March 30th for International Orchid Week.

NOCI will have displays at the following locations in the next few months: we could use a few more volunteers especially for our May 21-27 visit to St.Vital Centre; please give Bud Ewacha a call at 253-4741 if you can help out.

Web-editor's note:  Our year 2000 field trips have their own webpage.

You can learn more about native orchids by viewing our website at Or, send a note to For other orchid information, check out

If you are interested in attending a NOCI Board meeting, you are welcome to join us the first Wednesday of every month, 7:30PM at Powerland Computers, 562 St.Mary's Road, Winnipeg (there will be no Board meetings in July and August).

Our orchid of the month for April 2000
Early Coralroot (Corallorhiza trifida)

This interesting little orchid is common and can be found in most woodland environments as well as in wet meadows. I have seen it in ditches and in an acid bog near East Braintree, along the trails in Birds Hill Park, off the #203 near Woodridge and in the cedar bog at Gull Lake.

It grows about 15-30cm high and blooms May to July. Like all the Coralroots it has no roots or leaves. The rhizome is a branched lump of tissue with hairs. This is the reason for the name "coralroot". The plant is saprophytic and absorbs nutrients produced by fungi in the soil. For this reason, it is impossible to transplant. In place of leaves, there are a few overlapping bracts on the lower part of the greenish-yellow stem.

The flowers have greenish-white petals and a white three-lobed lip. The name "trifida" refers to the lip. There is a variety in Manitoba that has purple spots on the lip. The green color in this plant leads one to believe that it may be getting some of its energy from photosynthesis.

The pods produced in August are large for the size of the flowers. They hang down and away from the stem at an angle. This orchid often grows in clumps and their glowing yellow stems stand out against a wooded background.