Species At Risk Profile: Small White Lady’s Slipper

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Common Name: Small White Lady’s Slipper
Species Name: Cypripedium candidum
Description: The Small White Lady’s Slipper is a herbaceous perennial orchid that can grow to a height of 10 to 35 cm (4 to 13 inches). Plants grow in clumps, with each flowering stem surrounded by two to four leaves. One flower is found at the tip of each flowering stem, and consists of a white, pouch-shaped “slipper”, streaked with a rose-purple colour, and two twisted, greenish-yellow side petals that can be spotted or streaked with purple.
Where it can be found: In Manitoba, the Small white lady’s-slipper can be found in calcareous (calcium-rich, or alkaline) prairie openings in wooded grasslands, or on more open, south-facing slopes. It most often grows in relatively undisturbed grassland, but can also be seen in disturbed sites such as roadside ditches.
Threats: Threats to the species include encroachment of woody species, late spring frosts, illegal collection of plants, spraying of herbicides and clearing of ditches, weedy species invasion, urbanization, hybridization with Yellow lady’s-slippers, and conversion of native prairie to agricultural land.  The Small white lady’s-slipper is listed as Endangered by regulation 25/98 under the Manitoba Endangered Species Act.
Information Sources: MB Conservation, Photo Credit:Thomas Meyer