Cypripedium candidum photos and text by Jim Pyrzynski
was growing in this roadside ditch in Platte County, Nebraska. The
were taken in April 2006. The photo with the red flags shows the
locations of some of the plants. The other photo is a detail of an
location is essentially a lost cause (and it was before the road
grading activity) due to its location near development and adjacent to
a site that is to be developed. There is a housing development right
across the road from this site. Plus the site is not ideal habitat
anymore as it is overrun with smooth brome and other weedy invasives.
However, appropriate coordination between county and state
government entities and a pro-active approach by the Nebraska Game and
Parks Commission (our DNR) could have prevented the loss of a number of
plants. We tallied approximately 100 plants in the ditch and the
adjacent property and some still remain. The Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo was
given permission to relocate plants that were found in the ditch and
had been overturned. We did that and they were potted and placed on the
Zoo property in pots and did well last summer and are sprouting now.
Other plants from
this location (not the ditch, however, since we weren't able to locate
them) were moved in the fall of 2006 to another location (some also had
been relocated in the fall of 2005). The success of these
actions remains to be seen since in my opinion the relocation sites are
not the best. In any case, true success would only be ascertained
if seedlings were to appear in these sites - something which won't
happen, if at all, for several years.
For further reading Margaret From of the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo wrote
an article "DROUGHT, PERIL, AND SURVIVAL IN THE GREAT
PLAINS: CYPRIPEDIUM CANDIDUM" which was published in the
North American Native Orchid Journal, Volume 13 (2), 2007
Cypripedium candidum emerging.
above photo of Cyp.
candidum is not from this roadside location
Cypripedium candidum has a relatively small distribution area.
Cypripedium candidum in Nebraska is found in the northeastern part of
the state from seven sites. The site described above is one of those
From Margaret From's article:
"Two of the seven known Cypripedium candidum populations in
Nebraska now face an uncertain future due to land sales and
development, and a third faces environment-altering practices that may
destroy the population. One of those populations is on the edge of a
medium sized city where the orchid‘s habitat is scheduled for
commercial development. All the sites have relatively good soil, which
can easily be converted to crop production."
Click on pictues for