Here is another Cypripedium for the orchids of Manitoba series. About 45 species of Cypripedium are recognized, with twelve occurring in North America (link shows 11 of the 12 species; the twelfth being the most difficult to access and find). This was the eighth of those twelve I’ve observed in bloom in the wild; I would have seen a ninth (Cypripedium candidum) had it not been for a late frost in Manitoba damaging the flowers (more on this tomorrow).
Cypripedium arietinum, or ram’s-head lady’s-slipper, is native to southern Canada and northeastern United States. As the Flora of North America notes, it is a species of “dry to moist open coniferous and mixed forests, coniferous-forested fens, [and] beach thickets”. Habitat for the dozen or so individuals I observed was in coniferous-forested fens. The species is considered rare or threatened throughout most of its range, though the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has an excellent factsheet on Cypripedium arietinum that mentions a wider distribution previously (on a geological time scale).