Western Prairie Fringed Orchid (Platanthera praeclara)
Where Listed: WHEREVER FOUND
The Western prairie fringed orchid is a terrestrial member of the orchid family. This smooth, erect, perennial herb grows to 1.2 meters 4 feet (ft)] tall. Plants have two to five fairly thick, elongate, hairless leaves each. The open, spike-like flowering stalk bears up to 24 showy, 2.5 centimeters (cm) [1-inch (in)] wide, white flowers. The lower petal of each flower is deeply 3-lobed and fringed, hence the common name.
- States/US Territories in which the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur: Iowa , Kansas , Minnesota , Missouri , Nebraska , North Dakota , South Dakota
- US Counties in which the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur: View All
- USFWS Refuges in which the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid, Wherever found is known to occur:
Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District, Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge, Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, Tewaukon Wetland Management District, Valentine National Wildlife Refuge... Show All Refuges
- Countries in which the the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid, Wherever found is known to occur: Canada
- Additional species information
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|1989-09-28||Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region (Region 3)||Wherever found|
» Federal Register Documents
|1989-09-28 00:00:00.0||54 FR 39857 39863||ETWP; Determination of Threatened Status for Eastern and Western Prairie Fringed Orchids; 54 FR 39857 39863|
|2010-09-14 00:00:00.0||75 FR 55820 55823||5-Year Status Reviews of Seven Midwest Species; Notice of initiation of reviews; request for information.|
|2015-12-17 00:00:00.0||80 FR 78751||Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of One Listed Animal and Five Listed Plant Species|
|2006-03-30 00:00:00.0||71 FR 16176 16177||5-Year Review of Five Midwestern Species|
|1988-10-11 00:00:00.0||53 FR 39621 39626||Proposal to Determine Platanthera leucophaea (Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid) & Plantanthera praeclara (Western Prairie Fringed Orchid) to be Thr. Species; 53 FR 39621-39626|
|Date||Title||Plan Action Status||Plan Status|
|1996-09-30||Western Prairie Fringed Orchid||View Implementation Progress||Final|
|Date||Citation Page||Title||Document Type|
|2015-12-17||80 FR 78751||Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of One Listed Animal and Five Listed Plant Species||
|2010-09-14||75 FR 55820 55823||5-Year Status Reviews of Seven Midwest Species; Notice of initiation of reviews; request for information.||
|2006-03-30||71 FR 16176 16177||5-Year Review of Five Midwestern Species||
|2009-04-27||Western Prairie Fringed Orchid 5-Year Review|
» Critical Habitat
No critical habitat rules have been published for the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid.
» Conservation Plans
No conservation plans have been created for Western Prairie Fringed Orchid.
» Life History
Platanthera praeclara, the Western prairie fringed orchid, is a perennial orchid of the North American tall grass prairie and is found most often on unplowed, calcareous prairies and sedge meadows. Soil moisture is a critical determinant of growth, flowering, and distribution of western prairie fringed orchid (USFWS 2009). This species is dependent on mycorrhizal fungi, especially for seed germination and for nutritional support before plants are capable of photosynthesis. The persistence of western prairie fringed orchid is dependent on periodic disturbance by fire, mowing, or grazing, but these practices may also cause adverse effects and must be carefully implemented. The species occurs in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Oklahoma. Upstream depletions to the Platte River system in Colorado and Wyoming may affect the species in Nebraska.
Although Western prairie fringed orchid forms tubers and vegetative shoots from existing plants, pollination is required for seed production. Western prairie fringed orchid is pollinated by a few species of sphinx moths (USFWS 2009). Seeds are wind-dispersed and may also be adapted for dissemination through the soil profile by water.
In its recovery plan (USFWS 1996) the Service mostly reiterated the threats it described in the final listing rule, but emphasized that conversion of habitat to cropland was the greatest remaining threat to southern populations. It also emphasized that little was known about how to ensure that burning, grazing, and mowing are conducted in a manner not adverse to western prairie fringed orchid populations and pointed out that actions that directly or indirectly lower water levels in the rooting zone of plants “have the potential of serious adverse impacts.” In addition, it implied that potential impacts of pesticides to western prairie fringed orchid and its pollinators was also a threat. As with the conservation of other rare prairie species that exist in fragments of a once vast ecosystem, successful management consists of careful application of practices that are essential for conserving the habitat, while ensuring that associated adverse effects are avoided or minimized.
» Other Resources
NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.
ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.
FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.