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Montana Field Guides

Round-leaved Orchis - Amerorchis rotundifolia
Other Names:  Orchis rotundifolia

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: Low
C-value: 9

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
In Montana, this species is restricted to the Rocky Mountain Front, Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, Swan Valley and the northwest corner of the state. Several dozen occurrences are known in Montana with many being large, healthy populations. However, information on threats faced by the species, as well as trend data are lacking.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Round-leaved Orchis (Amerorchis rotundifolia) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 01/07/2013
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score1 - Moderate: Generally 10,000-100,000 individuals.

    CommentBased upon available data, population size is probably in the lower end of the 10,000-100,000 range.

    Range Extent

    Score1 - Peripheral, Disjunct or Sporadic Distribution in MT: Widespread species that is peripheral, disjunct or sporadically distributed within MT such that it occurs in <5% of the state (<7,500 sq. miles or the combined area of Beaverhead and Ravalli Counties) or is restricted to 4-5 sub-basins.

    Area of Occupancy

    Score1 - Moderate: Generally occurring in 11-25 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).

    Environmental Specificity

    Score1-2 - Moderate to High.


    Score0-1 - Stable to Minor Declines:

    CommentTrend data are largely unavailable. Habitat generally appears to be stable and it does not appear likely that severe declines have occurred, though it is possible that minor declines may be occuring across the species' range in Montana.


    Score1 - Medium: 11-30% of the populations are being negatively impacted or are likely to be impacted by one or more activities or agents, which are expected to result in decreased populations and/or habitat quality and/or quantity.

    CommentThough impacts may be occurring or likely at some locations, the magnitude or immediacy of threats to the species or its habitat do not appear to be high.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score2 - High Vulnerability: Very specific biological attributes, unusual life history characteristics or limited reproductive potential makes the species highly susceptible to extirpation from stochastic events or other adverse impacts to its habitat and very slow to recover.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 7 to 9 total points scored out of a possible 19.

General Description
Round-leaved Orchis is a glabrous, rhizomatous perennial with a single sub-basal leaf and a stem 10-20 cm tall. Leaf is elliptic to orbicular with a rounded tip, and is up to 10 cm long. The few to several flowers terminate the stem in a narrow inflorescence. There are 3 white to pale pink sepals. The upper is hood-shaped, 6-10 mm long, and slightly larger than the lateral ones; the 2 upper petals are narrowly lance-shaped. The large, lower petal (lip) is up to 9 mm long, white, spotted with purple, and deeply 3-lobed with a pair of lateral lobes and a notched lower one. The capsule is elliptic and contains thousands of tiny seeds.

Flowering in late June-early July.

Diagnostic Characteristics
This species is easy to recognize by the single leaf and distinctive flower. Calypso bulbosa also has a single leaf but the pink flowers are solitary and much larger.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
AK to Greenland south to WY, MI, NY (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 182

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Spruce forest around seeps or along streams, often in soil derived from limestone.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

Threats or Limiting Factors
Reported threats to Montana’s populations of Round-leaved Orchis are relatively low impacts due to noxious weeds, livestock use, and recreational use (MTNHP Threat Assessment 2021). Several populations are found in the vicinity of noxious weed populations, within grazing allotments, and along hiking trails. Impacts from individual threats are relatively minor, but co-occurring threats found at several populations tend to inflict stronger impacts. Potential threats from people collecting Round-leaved Orchis are indicated, but the severity of related impacts is not known.

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Chadde, Steve. Sensitive Plant Survey, Pinkham Analysis Area, Kootenai National Forest. Unpublished Report, 26 Pp. Plus Appendices.
    • Fertig, W. and G. Jones. 1992. Plant communities and rare plant species of the Swamp Lake Botanical Area, Clark's Fork Ranger District, Shoshone National Forest. Unpublished report to the Shoshone National Forest. Challenge Cost Share Agreement No. CSA-2-91-14-0001. Wyoming Natural Diversity Database. 113+ pp.
    • Handley, J. and B. Heidel. 2005. Amerorchis rotundifolia (Banks ex Pursh) Hultén (roundleaf orchid): a technical conservation assessment. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, Species Conservation Project. 37 p.
    • Hoitsma, T. 1992. Sensitive Plant Survey, Fortine Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest. [Unpublished Report] 65 pp. plus appendices.
    • Shelly, J.S. 1988. Status review of Orchis [Amerorchis] rotundifolia, U.S. Forest Service, Region 1, Flathead and Lewis & Clark National Forests, Montana. Unpublished report. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT 59 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
Round-leaved Orchis — Amerorchis rotundifolia.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from