Plants and Animals

Triphora trianthophora Nodding pogonia or three birds orchid

Key Characteristics

Small orchid (10-20 cm) of rich woods; stem purple, leaves ovate and green; flowers few (1-6), white to pale pink, lip with three bright green crests.

Status and Rank

US Status:
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G3G4 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from vulnerable to apparently secure
State Rank: S1 - Critically imperiled

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Allegan11880
Berrien22012
Cass21978
Ionia11901
Kalamazoo11948
Kent11901
Leelanau11980
Muskegon11899
Oceana11899
Van Buren21907

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

Three-birds orchid is found in rich oak-hickory forests and old wooded dune forests with well developed humus layers.

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 oak, beech, sugar maple, yellow birch, hemlock, paper birch, hickory, black cherry, red oak, red maple, white ash, spicebush, rattlesnake fern, shining clubmoss, Canada mayflower, hop hornbeam, blue-beech, wood nettle, jumpseed, lady fern, woodfern, red and white baneberry, bishop's cap, woolly blue violet, ginseng, and wild sarsaparilla.

Management Recommendations

Management needs are poorly known. This species may require large forest tracts where natural disturbance processes are allowed to proceed unhindered, and it may be susceptible to excessive logging activities.

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 fourth week of July to fourth week of September

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

  • Braun, E. L. 1967. The Monocotyledoneae of Ohio. Cat-tails to Orchids. Ohio State University Press, Columbus. 464pp.
  • Case, F.W., Jr. 1987. Orchids of the Western Great Lakes Region. Revised ed. Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bull. 48. 251pp.
  • Deam, C. C. 1940. Flora of Indiana. Department of Conservation, Indianapolis. 1236pp.
  • 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.
  • Godfrey, R.K. and Wooten. 1981. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Southeastern United States. Dicotyledons. University of Georgia Press, Athens. 712pp.
  • 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.
  • Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region, 4th ed. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. 921pp.
  • 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.