Plants and Animals

Cypripedium candidum White lady slipper

species photo
Susan R. Crispin
species photo
Dennis A. Albert
species photo
Donald H. Les
species photo
Michael R. Penskar
species photo
Bradford S. Slaughter

Key Characteristics

Small orchid (20-30 cm) of prairie fens and lakeplain prairies; leaves narrowly elliptic; flower a small ivory-white pouch-like slipper.

Status and Rank

US Status:
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure
State Rank: S2 - Imperiled

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Allegan12005
Barry11969
Berrien72007
Branch11970
Calhoun22005
Cass72009
Clinton11884
Genesee11997
Hillsdale52004
Huron11990
Ingham12009
Ionia11884
Jackson92010
Kalamazoo92003
Kent22004
Lenawee32001
Livingston142016
Oakland152008
St. Clair11991
St. Joseph12007
Tuscola21994
Van Buren32005
Washtenaw202016

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 in alkaline wetlands in southern Lower Michigan and occasionally in lakeplain wet and wet-mesic prairies along coastal areas in the Thumb region.

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

Tamarack, grass-of-parnassus, shrubby cinquefoil, Virginia mountain mint, Ohio goldenrod, Riddell's goldenrod, Indian grass, hardstem bulrush, three-square, twig-rush, prairie dropseed, rush, golden-seeded spike-rush, spike-rush, joe-pye weed, common boneset, little bluestem, big bluestem, Indian grass, Indian plantain, prairie fringed-orchid, blue-joint grass, whorled loosestrife, black-eyed Susan, marsh fern, bog birch, dogwoods, willows, alder-leaved buckthorn, meadowsweet, water hemlock, bog clearweed, strict sedge, and marsh bellflower.

Management Recommendations

Requires protection of hydrology, groundwater source, and natural disturbance regime. This species benefits from fen management that includes prescribed fire and brush removal, which maintains open habitat and reduces competing woody vegetation. Control/remove invasive species, especially glossy buckthorn and purple loosestrife. Protect habitat from being drained and developed.

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.
  • Homoya, M.A. 1993. Orchids of Indiana. Indiana University Press, Bloomington. 276pp.
  • Luer, C.A. 1975. The Native Orchids of the United States and Canada, Excluding Florida. Native Orchids U.S. & Canada. Barrons Educational Series, Hauppauge.
  • 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.