Cypripedium parviflorum var. parviflorum — Details

Small Yellow Lady's-slipper learn more about names for this taxon

Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Petals conspicuously twisted, pouch small, 2-2.5 cm, sepals and petals deep reddish brown.

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Rich, humus and decaying leaf litter in wooded areas, often on rocky wooded hillsides on north or east facing slopes, also wooded loess river bluffs. Moist creeksides or swales in spruce zones, soils sandy loams to loams.

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General Ecology

Constant moisture very important during germination and early development.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: As treated by Kartesz (1994) with vars. makasin and pubescens excluded from Cypripedium parviflorum var. parviflorum, this plant has a range limited to a portion of the eastern U.S., and is considered rare in many states in that range. Problems in identification among the various varieties of this variable orchid species, and confusion caused by numerous conflicting taxonomic viewpoints, makes status assessment difficult. Nevertheless, of the three varieties of C. parviflorum recognized by Kartesz (1999), this one is by far the rarest.

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Threats

Comments: Collection is a serious threat, as is habitat loss and fragmentation. (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Comments: Rootstock yielded the drug cypridpedium, which was used as an official nerve stimulant.

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: The varietal-level taxon Cypripedium parviflorum var. parviflorum of Kartesz (1999) corresponds in part to the species C. parviflorum of Kartesz (1994) where C. pubescens was recognized at the species rather than the varietal level, with the exception that in the Kartesz (1999) treatment the generally more boreal var. makasin is separately recognized, leaving var. parviflorum with a substantially smaller geographic range.

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