Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Discovery of orchid Spiranthes magnicamporum Sheviak in Burnt Lands Alvar

Discovery of orchid species in Burnt Lands Provincial Park

Ontario Parks: “Burnt Lands Provincial Park contains an extensive alvar ecosystem supporting a diversity of plant and animal species, many of which are provincially or regionally rare. Surrounding and interspersed among the open habitats are areas of cedar, white spruce, balsam fir and poplar forest which support a distinct array of plants in the undergrowth.”

Alvar

The Great Plains Ladies’-tresses, Spiranthes magnicamporum Sheviak, is an orchid that occurs in the North American Great Plains from extreme southeastern Manitoba to central Texas.  In 2011, it was found 150 km farther east, in the Carden Alvar in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

On 18 September 2013, this species was discovered in the Burnt Lands Provincial Park near Ottawa, Ontario. The publicly owned lands within this area, which straddles the boundary between Lanark County and the City of Ottawa, comprise the Burnt Lands Provincial Park (Nature Reserve).

The findings were described in a 2013 publication in The Candian Field-Naturalist 127(4):348-351 written by Joyce M. Reddoch, Paul M. Catling, and Allan H. Reddoch.