Hillside Rein Orchid - Piperia elegans
(see State Rank Reason below)
MNPS Threat Rank
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Between 1902 and 2016 Piperia elegans has been observed at 202 locations in northwest Montana. Populations seem to be common and tolerant of some disturbances, such as from grazing and logging.
- Details on Status Ranking and Review
ScoreF - 10,000 - 100,000 individuals
ScoreE - 5,000-20,000 sq km (~2,000-8,000 sq mi)
Area of Occupancy
ScoreE - 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Number of Populations
ScoreD - 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences or Percent Area with Good Viability / Ecological Integrity
ScoreF - Very many (>125) occurrences with excellent or good viability or ecological integrity
ScoreB - Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common
ScoreU - Unknown
ScoreU - Unknown
ScoreD - Low
CommentNo known threats. Found in an old burn, reported ungrazed in area with livestock grazing, growing with Canada thistle, often growing on logging roads.
ScoreA - Highly vulnerable
Plants: Perennial herb arising from tubers, the tubers 15-45 mm in length, with several fibrous roots (Douglas et al. 2001). Stems 25–70 cm (Lesica 2012), 2-12 mm in diameter (measured above basal leaves), simple (FNA 2002).
Leaves: Basal leaves 2-4 in number (Douglas et al. 2001), ephemeral, prostrate, sessile (FNA 2002), oblong, 7–20 cm in length (Lesica 2012), 1-7.5 cm in width; cauline leaves bractlike (Douglas et al. 2001), mostly 12-37 in number, as few as 4 (FNA 2002).
Inflorescence: An often crowded, spikelike raceme (Douglas et al. 2001), 9–30 cm in length; bracts 5–8 mm in length (Lesica 2012).(Lesica’s contribution adapted from Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX.)
Flowers June-September (Hitchcock et al. 1969).
BC to CA, ID and MT. In Montana, known from Flathead, Lake, and Lincoln Counties (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX.)
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version)
Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Drier, coniferous forest; valleys, montane (Lesica 2012), dry or briefly moist meadows and ditches in lowlands (Douglas et al. 2001).(Lesica’s contribution from Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX.)
Flowers: Pleasantly musky, heavily scented at night (FNA 2002); sepals 4–5 mm in length (Lesica 2012), white with a green central nerve; the 2 lateral sepals widespreading, nearly lanceoloate to ovate-elliptic, a little longer than the upper sepal (FNA 2002); upper sepal mostly erect; petals white to light green, lanceolate (Douglas et al. 2001), 3-6 mm in length; lip petal white to light green, deltoid-lanceolate to lanceolate (FNA 2002), 3–5 mm in length; spur weakly curved, 8–12 mm in length (Lesica 2012).
Fruit: Capsule ascending to upright (Douglas et al. 2001), 6–8 mm in length (Lesica 2012); seeds brown (FNA 2002).(Lesica’s contribution adapted from Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX.)
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, editors. 2001. The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Volume 7. Monocotyledons (Orchidaceae through Zosteraceae). British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria. iv + 379 pp.
- Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 26. Magnoliophyta: Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. New York, NY: Oxford Univ. Press. xxvi + 723 pp.
- Hitchcock, C. L., A. Cronquist, M. Ownbey, and J. W. Thompson. 1969. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part I: Vascular Cryptogams, Gymnosperms and Monocotyledons. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 914 pp.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.