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Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid
The eastern prairie fringed orchid is protected under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened species. It grows in a wide variety of habitats, from mesic prairie to wetlands such as sedge meadows, marsh edges, even bogs. This orchid is a perennial plant that grows from an underground tuber. Flowering begins from late June to early July, and lasts for 7 to 10 days. Blossoms often rise just above the height of the surrounding grasses and sedges.
The eastern prairie fringed orchid has a a single upright, leafy stem with a vertical flower cluster (flower spike). The flower spike has 5 to 40 creamy white flowers and each flower has a three-part fringed lip.
Natural History, Ecology, and Regulatory Information
Species Profile linked to National USFWS website
Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid in Michigan: Michigan Natural Features Inventory Abstract - 3-page PDF
Sex and the Prairie - Chicago Wilderness Magazine
Sphinx Moths: Bird and Bee Impersonators - Chicago Wilderness Magazine
Ballad of the Hairy-fruited Sedge (update on Eastern prairie-fringed orchid populations in Missouri): March 29, 2011
Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Five-Year Review: 33-page PDF; 734KB (August 16, 2010)
Section 6 Grant Project (2006): Determination of the status of Piping Plovers, Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, Prairie Bush Clover, Fassett's Locoweed, and implement recovery management for Karner Blue Butterfly and Fassett's Locoweed (Wisconsin)
2006 Recovery Land Acquisition Grant: Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid in Wisconsin (Rock County, WI)
Recovering a Prairie Orchid 2-page PDF (2003 Endangered Species Technical Bulletin)
Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid Recovery Plan (1999) (pdf file 868KB; 63 pages)
Last updated: July 9, 2013