Rare Lady’s Slipper Orchid Found Near Rice Lake

Town of Reid, Marathon County

Last year, North Central Conservancy Trust (NCCT) volunteer Roger Zimmermann was walking through a publicly owned bog near Rice Lake and came upon what he thought might have been a couple of small yellow lady’s slipper orchids (Cypripedium parviflorum). The flowers were dried up, but judging from the seed pod, Zimmermann thought it might have been that type of flower. On June 12th, nearly a year later, Zimmermann decided to go back again to the bog and was astonished to find eleven of the flowers, four of which were in brilliant bloom. The native small yellow lady’s slipper is a rare plant (listed as special concern in Wisconsin), but given the right environmental conditions and protections provided through a North Central Conservancy Trust conservation easement, the orchids flourished.

The Rice Lake bog, where these orchids were found, was gifted to North Central Conservancy Trust by Claire Pfleger of Milwaukee in 2011 to preserve its natural features. The property is unique in that it supports a white cedar bog and will one day hold a section of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The property also includes 1,000 feet of shoreline on Rice Lake, a spring-fed, undeveloped marl lake. Not only is this property preserved for future generations, it is open to the public to be explored for its natural beauty.

The North Central Conservancy Trust is a non-profit land trust working to protect worthy scenic working lands and environmental resources for the benefit of the people of central Wisconsin. Conservation easements, such as the one found on Rice Lake bog, are the primary way in which our rural landscape and privately owned important natural areas are protected. NCCT is the only organization in the north central region of Wisconsin whose mission is to hold and protect conservation easements. NCCT makes it possible to preserve the beautiful landscape of Wisconsin for both those who live here or visit here. This small success story is just one of the many examples provided through conservation easements.

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Comments

  1. Arthur Huset says:

    We have seen a lady slipper in our woods.

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