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Published In: Species Plantarum. Editio quarta 4(1): 142. 1805. (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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2. Cypripedium candidum Muhl. ex Willd. (small white lady’s slipper)

Pl. 112 a, b; Map 461

Flowering stems 15–40 cm long, sparsely hairy, with 1(–2) flower. Leaves 3 or 4 per flowering stem, 5–13 cm long, less than 4 cm wide, narrowly elliptic, sparsely hairy to nearly glabrous. Sepals 2–3 cm long, ovate‑lanceolate, undulate or somewhat spirally twisted, yellowish green with varying degrees of reddish purple to brown tinging or streaks. Lateral petals 2.5–3.5 cm long, longer than the lip, linear‑lanceolate, spirally twisted, yellowish green with varying degrees of reddish purple to brown tinging or streaks. Lip 1.5–2.3 cm long, obovoid, the margins rolled inward along the edge of the opening, white, with reddish purple streaks on the inside surface and around the opening. Column 10–15 mm long, the staminode ovate, yellow with reddish purple spots. 2n=20. April–June.

Uncommon, known historically from northwest Missouri, Shannon County, and the St. Louis area; presently known only from a single site in Howell County (northeastern U.S. and adjacent Canada west to Nebraska, commonest around the Great Lakes). Seepy areas of mesic upland prairies, often in loess soils; also on seepy ledges and sheltered, lower slopes of ravines in mesic upland forests.

This uncommon orchid was thought to be extinct in the state until recently. Considerable effort without success has been expended by several groups and individuals over the years to relocate the site of Steyermark’s Nodaway County find, last observed in 1947 (Summers, 1981). The small population in Howell County grows with C. reginae on the seepy ledge of a dolomite bluff. There, it was overlooked by botanists for many years because the plants were past flowering by the time that the latter species flowered. As this habitat occurs in numerous “hollows” in the southern Ozarks, more populations may eventually be discovered.



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