Coleman’s coralroot is a stunning purple orchid that exists in only a few mountain ranges in the Southwest. Fewer than 200 are known to exist in the wild, and they remain a mystery: Biologists don’t even know how the flowers are pollinated, largely because there are so few individuals — and because the elusive plants spend most of their lives underground.
It’s extremely rare to actually see these orchids in the wild. Recently, though, Center for Biological Diversity staff wandered the desert and found two specimens in full bloom; we captured them on video so that you, too, can see this beautiful hermit of the desert in all its glory.
Check out the video of the Coleman’s coralroot below; then read about the Center’s work to protect this orchid and other rare plants and animals in the Southwest’s breathtaking Sky Islands region, where many special species and wild places are threatened by an open-pit mine planned for the Santa Rita Mountains.