Plants and Animals

Cypripedium arietinum Ram's head lady's-slipper

species photo
Susan R. Crispin
species photo
Adrienne L. Bozic
species photo
Adrienne L. Bozic
species photo
Bradford S. Slaughter

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

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G3 - Vulnerable
State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Alcona 3 2009
Alger 2 2006
Alpena 3 2009
Antrim 1 1908
Benzie 2 2012
Charlevoix 6 2000
Cheboygan 5 1999
Chippewa 8 2013
Delta 2 1995
Emmet 8 2018
Grand Traverse 1 1908
Gratiot 1 1895
Iosco 1 1983
Isabella 2 1928
Keweenaw 13 2014
Leelanau 2 1982
Livingston 1 1892
Mackinac 10 2016
Marquette 2 2019
Mason 2 2013
Menominee 1 2009
Midland 1 1928
Montmorency 5 2005
Ontonagon 6 2009
Oscoda 4 2013
Otsego 2 1981
Presque Isle 12 2017
Roscommon 2 1954
Washtenaw 1 1892

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

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 Recommendations

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

Survey Methods

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

  • Meander search

    • Survey Period: From third week of May to third week of June

References

Survey References

  • Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, and J.W. Willoughby. 1998. Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations. The Nature Conservancy and Bureau of Land Management, Denver. BLM Technical Reference 1730-1. 477pp.
  • Goff, G.F., G.A. Dawson, and J.J. Rochow. 1982. Site examination for Threatened and Endangered plant species. Environmental Management 6(4): 307-316
  • Nelson, J.R. 1984. Rare Plant Field Survey Guidelines. In: J.P. Smith and R. York. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 3rd Ed. California Native Plant Society, Berkeley. 174pp.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1986. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques For Impact Assessment. Natural Areas Journal 5(3):18-30.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1987. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques for Impact Assessment. In: Conservation and management of rare and endangered plants. Ed. T.S. Elias. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 8pp.

Technical References

  • Case, F.W., Jr. 1987. Orchids of the Western Great Lakes Region. Revised ed. Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bull. 48. 251pp.
  • Coffin, B. and L. Pfannmuller, eds. 1988. Minnesota's Endangered Flora and Fauna. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 473pp.
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002. Flora of North America, North of Mexico. Volume 26: Magnoliaphyta: Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. Oxford University Press, New York. 723pp.
  • Gleason, H. A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second edition. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 910pp.
  • Gray, A. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany; eighth ed. Van Nostrand Reinghold, New York. 1632pp.
  • Holmgren, N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the vascular plants of Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 937pp.
  • Luer, C.A. 1975. The Native Orchids of the United States and Canada, Excluding Florida. Native Orchids U.S. & Canada. Barrons Educational Series, Hauppauge.
  • Scoggan, H.J. 1978. The Flora of Canada. National Museum of Natural Science Publications Botany 4: 1711pp.
  • Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan Flora. Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 488pp.
  • Whiting, R.E. and P.M. Catling. 1986. Orchids of Ontario. The CanaColl Foundation, Ottawa. 169pp.