Cypripedium arietinum
Ram's head lady's-slipper
Image of Cypripedium arietinum

Photo by Adrienne L. Bozic 

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Key Characteristics

Very small orchid (10-30 cm) of upland and lowland conifer-dominated systems; leaves narrowly elliptic; flowers small with a deeply pouched lower lip marked with dark red, netted venation.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S3
  • Global Rank: G3

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Alcona32009
Alger22006
Alpena32009
Antrim11908
Benzie22012
Charlevoix41989
Cheboygan51999
Chippewa82013
Delta21995
Emmet71986
Grand Traverse11908
Gratiot11895
Iosco11983
Isabella21928
Keweenaw132014
Leelanau21982
Livingston11892
Mackinac102016
Marquette11959
Mason22013
Menominee12009
Midland11928
Montmorency52005
Ontonagon62009
Oscoda42013
Otsego21981
Presque Isle112005
Roscommon21954
Washtenaw11892
Distribution map for Cypripedium arietinum

Updated 7/21/2017. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

Found primarily on cedar-fir-spruce beach ridges and in forests along the Great Lakes shoreline in northern Michigan. Also occurs in upland jack, red, and white pine forests, in conifer-dominated swamps, and at the margins of bedrock glades. The species has not been documented south of Mason County since 1928.

Natural Community Types

Methodology

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

White cedar, balsam fir, white and black spruce, ram's head orchid, dwarf lake iris, ebony sedge, beauty sedge, Canada mayflower, starflower, gaywings, twinflower, blue-bead lily, goldthread, fly honeysuckle, naked miterwort, and kidney-leaved violet.

Management

This species is vulnerable to excessive logging and impacts to hydrology. Requires protection of habitat and natural disturbance (wind throw) and hydrological regimes.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Aug 21, 2017]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract

References

Survey References

Technical References

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