Cypripedium montanum - Dougl. ex Lindl.
Mountain Lady's-slipper
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cypripedium montanum Dougl. ex Lindl. (TSN 43537)
French Common Names: cypripède des montagnes
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.147481
Element Code: PMORC0Q080
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Orchid Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Orchidales Orchidaceae Cypripedium
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Cypripedium montanum
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 30Jun2016
Global Status Last Changed: 15Nov2002
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Occasional in western North America, with thousands of occurrences, but many of those with few plants. Occurs in a wide variety of habitats, from full sun on eastern mountain slopes to full shade in moist wooded valleys (Luer 1975). Threatened by habitat loss or alteration. The main concern for this species is that present-day botanists are observing and hearing anecdotal accounts of population loss. Although populations are known to be declining significantly, there are still abundant enough numbers of plants and populations.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4?
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3N4 (30Jun2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alaska (S1), California (S4), Idaho (SNR), Montana (S3S4), Oregon (S3S4), Washington (SNR), Wyoming (S2)
Canada Alberta (S2), British Columbia (S3S4), Saskatchewan (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Alaska to central California, east to Alberta and Wyoming.

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Common to occasional in appropriate habitat. Described as "infrequent in and east of the Coast-Cascade Mountain [in British Columbia], rare northwards" (Douglas et al. 2001). An estimate of occurrences in eastern Oregon is approximately 200 (pers. comm. J. Kagan 2001), and another 100 in western Oregon (pers. comm. Vrilakas 2002). From the ISMS data set, it is estimated to have 60 occurrences in northern California and 50 in western Washington (ISMS 2002). The state of California does not keep track of occurrences.

Population Size Comments: In Wyoming, population sizes are variable with from as few as 50 to as many as over 500 individuals (Fertig 2000).

Overall Threat Impact: High - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Habitat loss, such as logging, fire suppression, and harvesting of wild plants threaten this species (pers. comm. J. Kagan, December 2001). Grazing has also been cited as a threat (Fertig 2000, Ksenija Vujnovic, pers. comm., 2002). Other threats include park and campground maintenance, road construction, and herbicide spraying (Washington Natural Heritage Program 1981). In addition, disturbances caused by the collection of other species such as mushrooms or medicinal plants may damage habitat (Seevers and Lang 1998). Cypripedium montanum is advertised by several distributors as available laboratory-propagated. Fire supression may be the largest threat to the many popluations located in developed/developing areas.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%

Long-term Trend: Decline of 50-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: This species is reportedly declining slowly due to fire suppression and perhaps also due to harvesting of wildplants (pers. comm. J. Kagan, December 2002). Seevers and Lang (1998) mention examples of severe damage to populations on logged areas in Oregon and California. In Alberta, where C. montanum is only found in the southwestern part of the province, estimated overall population decline is 20 percent over the past 10 years (Ksenija Vujnovic, pers. comm.,2002).

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Requires mycorrhizal fungal associate, can have long dormancy, pollinator dependent,

Environmental Specificity: Broad. Generalist or community with all key requirements common.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: Alaska to central California, east to Alberta and Wyoming.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, CA, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY
Canada AB, BC, SK

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AK Haines (02100), Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon (CA) (02232), Wrangell-Petersburg (CA) (02280)
OR Jackson (41029), Josephine (41033), Union (41061)
WY Big Horn (56003)*, Johnson (56019), Sheridan (56033), Washakie (56043)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 Nowood (10080008)+*, Little Bighorn (10080016)+, Upper Tongue (10090101)+, Crazy Woman (10090205)+*, Clear (10090206)+
17 Upper Grande Ronde (17060104)+, Middle Rogue (17100308)+, Applegate (17100309)+, Lower Rogue (17100310)+
19 Southeast Mainland (19010101)+, Mainland (19010201)+, Kuiu-Kupreanof-Mitkof-Etolin-Zarembo-Wrangell Isla (19010202)+, Glacier Bay (19010302)+, Chilkat-Skagway Rivers (19010303)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Habitat Comments: Moist open woods and alpine meadows.
Economic Attributes
Economically Important Genus: Y
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Vrilakas, Sue

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Andersen, M.D. and B. Heidel. 2011. HUC-based species range maps. Prepared by Wyoming Natural Diversity Database for use in the pilot WISDOM application operational from inception to yet-to-be-determined date of update of tool.

  • Dorn, R. D. 2001. Vascular Plants of Wyoming, third edition. Mountain West Publishing, Cheyenne, WY.

  • Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, editors. 2001. The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Volume 6. Monocotyledons (Acoraceae through Najadaceae). British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria.

  • Evert, E. F. 1985. Rare Plants: Story Area. Unpublished report prepared by the author.

  • Evert, E. F. 2010. Vascular Plants of the Greater Yellowstone Area: Annotated Catalog and Atlas. Park Ridge, IL.

  • Fertig, W. 2000. State Species Abstract: Cypripedium montanum. Updated 2008 by J. Handley. Wyoming Natural Diversity Database. Available on the internet at

  • Fertig, W. 1993. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service candidate plant species of Wyoming. Unpublished report prepared for Wyoming Weed and Pest Supervisor's meeting in Cody, WY, March 1993.

  • Fertig, W. 1994. Guide to Sensitive Wyoming plants of US Forest Service Region 2 (with emphasis on plants of Bighorn, Medicine Bow, and Shoshone National Forests). Unpublished report prepared as a handout for the TES species identification workshop conducted for US Forest Service Region 2 in Laramie, WY, 11 May 1994.

  • Fertig, W. 1994. Mountain Lady's-slipper. Castilleja 13(4):1.

  • Fertig, W. 2000. Cypripedium fasciculatum state species abstract. Wyoming Natural Diversity Database summaries posted for plant species of special concern [pdf files] at University of Wyoming, Laramie.

  • Fertig, W. 2000. Rare vascular plant species in the Wyoming portion of the Utah-Wyoming Rocky Mountains Ecoregion. Prepared for the Wyoming Nature Conservancy by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.

  • Fertig, W., C. Refsdal, and J. Whipple. 1994. Wyoming Rare Plant Field Guide. Wyoming Rare Plant Technical Committee, Cheyenne, WY.

  • Girard, M. 1992. Sensitive and Watch Plant Species of the Bighorn National Forest. Bighorn National Forest, 1969 S. Sheridan Ave., Sheridan, WY.

  • Harms, V.L., P.A. Ryan and J.A. Haraldson. 1992. The rare and endangered vascular plants of Saskatchewan. Prepared for the Saskatchewan Natural History Society. Unpubl.

  • Hickman, J. C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1400 pp.

  • Hitchcock, C. L., A. Cronquist and M. Ownbey. 1969. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest, Part 1: Vascular Cryptograms, Gymnosperms and Monocotyledons. University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kershaw, L., J. Gould, D. Johnson, and J. Lancaster. 2001. Rare vascular plants of Alberta. Univ. of Alberta Press, Edmonton, Alberta and Nat. Resour. Can., Can. For. Serv., North. For. Cent., Edmonton, Alberta. 484pp.

  • Luer, C. A. 1975. The Native Orchids of the United States and Canada excluding Florida. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY.

  • Luer, C.A. 1975. The native orchids of the United States and Canada excluding Florida. New York Botanical Garden. 361 pp.

  • Porter, C.L. 1965. A Flora of Wyoming: Part IV. Bulletin 434:1-88. Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Wyoming.

  • Retrieved: 2009-04-27, from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, .

  • Seevers, J. and F. Lang. December 1998. Management Recommendations for Mountain Lady's Slipper. Available: ion10.htm. Accessed July 12, 2002.

  • Seevers, J. and Lang, F. Management Recommendations for Mountain Lady's-slipper (Cypripedium montanum Douglas ex Lindley) v. 2.0. Dec 1998.

  • Sheviak, C. J. 2002. Cypripedium. Pages 499-507 in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, editor. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 26. Magnoliophyta: Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. Oxford University Press, New York, NY.

  • Skinner, M.W., and B.M. Pavlik, eds. 1997 (1994). Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 1997 Electronic Inventory Update of 1994 5th edition, California Native Plant Society, Special Publication No. 1, Sacramento.

  • USDA Forest Service, USDI Bureau of Land Management, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service. 2002. Interagency Species Management System [ISMS] database. Portland, Oregon.

  • USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (, 27 April 2009). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

  • Vance, N. C. 2007. Cypripedium montanum Douglas ex Lindley (mountain lady's slipper): A Technical Conservation Assessment. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region.

  • Washington Natural Heritage Program. 1981. An illustrated guide to the endangered, threatened and sensitive vascular plants of Washington. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Olympia. 328 pp.

  • Welp, L., W.F. Fertig, G.P. Jones, G.P. Beauvais, and S.M. Ogle. 2000. Fine filter analysis of the Bighorn, Medicine Bow, and Shoshone National Forests in Wyoming. Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of November 2016.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2017 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.