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JB_Orchidguy

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I was surfing ebay yesterday and came across a lady selling Cyp acule. I emailed her asking if they were garden produced or wild. This is her response.

they are taken from the wild, logging sites or developments
I can see saving the plants from logging sites and development site, and if they are on your land then you can what you want with them, but not just taking from the wild. So I send her this message back.

Pink Lady's Slipper is a very attractive and popular plant because of the strange and beautiful pink flower. It is also rare and needs to be left alone in the few places it is surviving. The plant is actually an orchid with the alternate name of moccasin flower. The plant has two wide basal leaves that stay horizontal and a single stalk growing to about a foot high bearing the pink flower. Transplanting from the wild is strongly discouraged because of the rarity of the plant and the almost nil chances of success. New plants are difficult to start because of the need for symbiotic fungi in supping nutrients to the seed. It takes years for the new plant to develop leaves for supplying its own energy. The plant requires low pH, nutrient poor soil and other special conditions for successful establishment.

They are also an endangered species and illegal to dig up from the wild. Private land gathering is discouraged and rescues with permission are better than letting the plant die.
I then get this message back.

I really wish people like you would research before emailing someone, first of all, they are not endangered in the state of Ky, secondly I do not get them from government land, as I stated these are transplanted from logging or development sites, They are mowed down by the county and state work crews, as for transplanting them I always include some of the soil for insure the fungi, I know what I am doing and have been doing this for 7 years now, so research each state before you harrass peopleeee
So now. What is the status of these plants? Are they only endangered in certain states? Are they illegal to dig up on the roadside without permision, even if they are getting mowed down? I thought they were a threatened species in the US not only threatened in individual states.

Would you have handled this different? I admit I may have been a little accusatory in the emails. I just think it is bad to get them from the wild and then sell them when they take so long to grow and I am under the impression they are endangered.

Josh
 

Renegayde

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Threatened and Endangered Information:
Cypripedium acaule Aiton

This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. Click on a place name to get a complete protected plant list for that location.

Georgia:
pink ladyslipper Unusual
Illinois:
lady's-slipper orchid Endangered
New York:
pink ladyslipper Exploitably Vulnerable
Tennessee:
pink lady's-slipper Commercially Exploited, Endangered


I think this info is from the same site as Heather listed
 

kentuckiense

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If they were taken from logging sites or developments then they would've been killed if she hadn't dug them up. No big deal, in my opinion.
 
C

cdub

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I'm sorry, JB, but the ebay seller is right. It's important to do your research, especially if you are going to ream someone out like that. Cyp. acaule is far from endangered in most of its range, and is only extremely rare on the edge of its range, such as in Illinois. In typical habitats I have found that the occurance of Cyp. acaule is highly predictable and often abundant.

I was helping a family friend move out of her house last year and pointed to a group of a dozen or so plants growing under small hemlocks along he driveway. She had lived in the house for ten years and never noticed them!
 
E

Eric Muehlbauer

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C. acaule is not endangered in most of its range...probably more abundant than other cyp's in the US. I've even seen it growing right up against the Long Island Expressway. However, I'm sure that most states are like NY, in that it is a protected wildflower, and automatically illegal to collect.
 

cnycharles

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C. acaule is not endangered in most of its range...probably more abundant than other cyp's in the US. I've even seen it growing right up against the Long Island Expressway. However, I'm sure that most states are like NY, in that it is a protected wildflower, and automatically illegal to collect.
I believe this is the case, that they aren't rare there but technically if they weren't on some property that the owner gave them permission it isn't legal. On the other hand, there are bunches of cases where there are non-federally listed orchids and other plants that have legally been taken from sites because the landowner had given permission to have them removed. I believe from what I've read this is allowable unless they are federally-listed in which case they aren't supposed to be bothered at all? (note the question mark) This is also from what I've read on NY sites about protected plants.
 
C

cdub

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The classification of "endangered" or even "threatened" refers to a decision made at the state or federal level (or both). Along the same lines, I believe species officially designated as endangered are protected by legal acts adopted at the state level, or the US Endangered Species Act (or whatever they are calling it now). Any legal repercussions of taking or damaging the habitats of these species are outlines in these legal documents.

The term "protected" is a state designation. Some plants are "protected" in one state and not in another. For example, Trillium spp. are protected in VT, but can be collected without consequence in NH. Species listed as threatened are often secondarily "protected" as a measure to gain security since threatened plants don't have the exact same legal protection that endangered species do.
 
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Hi, Since I raise Cypripedium (from seed!) I am often asked about the status of these orchids. I am also a registered importer/exporter of endangered species, and I am a USDA grantee for the purposes of Cypripedium propagation. In all of these activities I have had a lot of contact with the regulators and legal groups.

Cyp acaule is in fact not an endangered species. In some states it is threatened, but in many it is not. In most states one can dig them up without any legal repercussions - assuming the land is not a park or something similar from which plants may not be gathered. Of course they may not be taken from private land unless permission is granted.

In some states, here in Connecticut for example, Cyp acaule is quite common in many places. In my woods there are hundreds - I would be most excruciatingly unhappy if anyone dug any of them! In some of the state parks in my area they are extremely common - I follow one colony that has well over 1000 individuals in a nice white pine forest.

Having said all of that - this species is very difficult to transplant with long term survival so rescue if very difficult.


Some of the other species of Cypripedium are listed as endangered and are much less common - Cyp parviflorum, Cyp arietinum and Cyp reginae here in CT for example. In some states the restrictions are such that in MN for example if one artificially propagates Cyp arietinum, one cannot sell the artificially propagated plants. On the other hand MN readily allows people to harvest threatened Cyps and resell them. So, various species are protected in different ways by different states. The US govt does not have strong restrictions - for example one can collect seed and use it, sell it, and even ship it overseas - with no permits. Some potential recipient countries do not let it in however, unless there is a permit.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Ron Burch
 
J

JB_Orchidguy

Guest
Thank you for the information everyone. This has been a learning experience.

Ron I would love to learn how to get the permits your referring too. Also your techniques to flasking cyps.

I guess the main reason for my frustration is because last year I received several cyps from a friend. He collected them off his property here in GA in the north GA mountains. I promptly got on the slipper boards and asked about culture so I could make sure these guys survived. I was promptly reamed for getting the plants from the wild. Even though they were collected from a private property. The owner sent them to me, so there was no question to their origin, but yet I was chastised. That experience lead me to believe they were threatened all over and I was a bad person for recieving wild collected cyps from a private site.
 
T

The_Plant_Piper

Guest
they are taken from the wild, logging sites or developments
This kind of sound likes I will take them from anywhere I can get them, with "the wild" being the most common. Was this her whole response?

As a rule, YES!, you want to leave wild plants alone. Taking fungus helps the orchid, but it doesn't restore the environment. Endangered or not, if everyone dug up every attractive living organism that they encountered, there would soon be no attractive living organisms anywhere. Even licensed plant collectors often don't go around digging things up. In those cases it is often seed, a cutting, or better still a photograph that is gathered for study. IMHO, having a 7 year supply of plants to sell on ebay doesn't justify wild collection.

Governments don't normally mow private property. And I'm pretty sure that people aren't screaming Please come HELP remove these awful orchids from my property. If it is being done with private landowner consent, then the landowners are also getting some type of compensation. In the end, I'm pretty sure it all amounts to the rape of the wild for and at a price.

Your question was legitimate. There are plenty of reasons and justifications for taking a stance against the wild collection of anything for commercial purposes, so it was your right to know. Her initial response did nothing to soothe your worst fears- fears which she should have taken more time to address and alleviate- fears which she should have anticipated if she is knowledgeable about orchids in commerce.

Her apparant feelings of being blindsided by your inquiries would make me question her supposed judgement about when its appropriate to dig. To make matters worse, if this is the seller I suspect that it is, she offers a number of plants native to her area and with a threatened status in various places. In fact, she seems to specialize in it, possibly to the exclusion of non-natives, but NO!- I didn't research her listings far enough to know if that is 100% accurrate. However, it is worrisome that she has so little respect for the conservationist mindset, given the number of natives she does offer.


Was it obvious that you were quoting an online reference in your email? It took me a few minutes to realize that. People who consider themselves knowledgeable on a subject could object to an unsolicited stream of related information suddenly being directed there way. It's easier to digest once you think "copy/paste", but maybe she didn't. Hence her response about the fungus when the real issue at hand is wild collection?

Regards
 
J

JB_Orchidguy

Guest
Yes that was her full response. I copied everything as it was from our communications.
 

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