Regularity: Regularly occurring
Petals conspicuously twisted, pouch small, 2-2.5 cm, sepals and petals deep reddish brown.
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.
Constant moisture very important during germination and early development.
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure
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.
Comments: Collection is a serious threat, as is habitat loss and fragmentation. (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Comments: Rootstock yielded the drug cypridpedium, which was used as an official nerve stimulant.
Names and 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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