Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Cypripedium candidum, fen, orchid, pollination, prairie


The small white lady’s-slipper (Cypripedium candidum) is threatened or endangered in 10 or more of the approximately 20 U.S. states and Canadian provinces in which it is found. Our pilot study revealed a lack of pollination occurring in Wisconsin’s wild populations of this orchid. We also speculate from observations taken during the study that animal browse contributes to the state threatened status of this orchid. The results of this 1-year study are taken from three sites of low prairie in southern Wisconsin. Orchids were counted at each site; a subset of flowering plants was hand pollinated and mapped as to location. Three weeks later these plants and populations were revisited and inventoried for ovary development. Hand-pollinated plants had a significantly higher success of ovary development than plants left to natural pollination.