Prairie Gems: Northern small white lady’s-slipper


Yesterday, I found two of Manitoba’s lady’s-slippers. Last night I posted photos of the Large Yellow Lady’s-slipper. It is the most common of Manitoba’s lady’s-slippers. I also saw the most rare of our Lady’-slippers. The Northern small white lady’s-slipper (Cypripedium candidum), is usually found in moist prairies or ditches in different parts of southern Manitoba. I found these in the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve, one of my favorite places. They are very difficult to find, even when you know where to look because they are so low to the ground.

This orchid is in danger of extirpation. That means it could disappear from Canada. That would be a big loss. That is why they are listed under Canada’s Species at RiskActand Manitoba’s Endangered Species and Ecosystems Act.


These orchids are so rare because so much of the prairies have been converted to farms, homes and businesses. Added to that, too many people pick them (after all they are so beautiful) and they suffer from agricultural spraying and mowing. It seems strange but these flowers also miss prairie fires that used to help them against their competitive plants.

We need to work hard to save such beauties. I think its worth the effort. Don’t you?

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