Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid
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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