Chicago Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region


Chicago Field Office

1250 S. Grove, Suite 103
Barrington, IL 60010

Phone: 847/381-2253
FAX: 847/381-2285
TTY: 1-800-877-8339
(Federal Relay)



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Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid
(Platanthera leucophaea)

Listed as threatened in 1989.


  • Final rule listing the species, published in The Federal Register (54 FR 39857-39863), September 28,1989.


  • Eastern prairie fringed orchid Recovery plan, 1999 (868KB pdf).





Image: Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid "Species Spotlight."

Once a relatively common orchid in wet prairies throughout much of the midwestern United States, habitat destruction and alteration lead to the decline of this beautiful plant. It was listed as a threatened species in 1989.


Historical Records for this Species in Northeast Illinois

are available from Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties.


The Chicago Illinois Field Office is the lead office for coordinating the Service's efforts to recover this species. In addition to arranging meetings of the Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Recovery Team, we regularly network and consult with other orchid experts to discuss actions that might benefit its recovery. We also completed the approved recovery plan, and have helped implement other range-wide actions to recover this species.


In the Chicago region, we hold annual meetings of land managers and others with an interest in this species, and have funded various projects which may contribute locally to its recovery. The efforts were recently chronicled in an article that appeared in the Service's Endangered Species Bulletin.


Projects have included efforts to form an active and dedicated group of Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid volunteers, led by the The Nature Conservancy as well as research into the orchid's biology, genetics, life history, and pollination requirements. Other collaborators include botanists at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Morton Arboretum, and Chicago State University.



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Last updated: November 7, 2013