Cypripedium fasciculatum

Today is Plant Conservation Day, so I thought I’d feature a species of conservation concern (at least in some jurisdictions).

Cypripedium fasciculatum is native to a number of western states in the US, though its range is quite discontinuous and there are large gaps between regional populations. Intriguingly (to me), the range map ends at the Canada-US border, so it is one of those species that perhaps has potential to be found in Canada one day: “Hitchcock et al. (1969) and Luer (1975) report Cypripedium fasciculatum in British Columbia, although Catling (1983) cited by Brownell and Catling (1987) discount this occurrence.” (from US Bureau of Land Management’s Management Recommendations for Cypripedium fasciculatum).

Clustered lady’s-slipper or brownie lady’s-slipper will win no beauty contests when compared to the species’ showier cousins like Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens or Cypripedium reginae, but it can be appreciated for other qualities. For one, it is difficult to spot when growing among the greens and browns of the forest floor; I am still amazed at how Margaret Charlton (one of the attendees on our recent group trek to the Siskiyous) managed to locate this plant down the embankment. With extra care (e.g., not disturbing the soil and litter layer above and below it on the slope or near the plant), a few of us went to photograph it — care that is warranted, as it is susceptible to disturbance: “Threats include activities that alter the moisture or temperature regime, actions that disturb the soil and litter layer, or decrease vegetation cover to < 60 percent." (also from the US Bureau of Land Management's Management Recommendations for Cypripedium fasciculatum).

In Washington, Oregon and California, Cypripedium fasciculatum is either on watch lists or considered threatened.

Cypripedium fasciculatum

7 responses to “Cypripedium fasciculatum”

  1. Robyn

    beautiful and understated!
    Thanks for this, it will be most welcome in my backyard.

  2. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    Somehow, the fact that it “will win no beauty contests” makes it sweeter and dearer! Maybe that’s because of my soft spot for the underdog. ;o)
    Or mabye I’m getting old and dotty.

  3. Moralea

    Thanks for the lovely photo, I like the unusual viewpoint. I didn’t realise that it is plant conservation day. I’ll go remove a few broom plants to honour the occasion.

  4. elizabeth a airhart

    Hit fell on whitsontide
    Early in a may morning
    The sonne up farie can shyne
    And the briddes mery can syna
    may in green wode 15th century
    tis a lovely slipper just a little modest one
    the photo is just fine thank you for shareing

  5. Brenda

    Nice photo. Thanks for sharing. Beauty is often as subtle as it is stark. Eye of the beholder and all that……

  6. christian

    Daniel, hope you were able to see C. californificum when you were in the siskiyous. It is trully a gem!

  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Christian, indeed I did — but I wasn’t happy with my photographs taken in the rain.

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