Native Orchid News:
The Newsletter of Native Orchid Conservation Inc.
Vol. 3 Issue 1   March 2001
ISSN 1499-5476

Native Orchid Conservation Inc.
35 St.Michael Rd, Winnipeg, MB R2M2K7
For more information on NOCI, contact Bud Ewacha at 253-4741 or email <>

Notice of Annual General Meeting:
Wednesday April 11th 7:30pm at Powerland Computers 562 St.Mary's Rd

  • Elections to the Board will take place

    Orchid of the Month:
    Slender Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes lacera)

  • A sincere thank you from Peggy Bainard Acheson, our membership chair, to the 25 members who were the first to renew and won a special copy of the NOCI 2001 calendar. Their names are as follows:

    Henry and Esther Kotyk
    Ken Tilling
    Jean A. Ford
    Kathleen Fitzpatrick
    Merle McLeod
    Linda Warren
    Morris Sorenson
    Linda Asper
    Sharon Purvis
    Dennis and Katherine Reynolds
    Waltraut Riedel-Baun
    Pam Begg
    Joe Stefanec
    Brian Wagg
    Wayne Campbell
    Mary Yakimyszyn
    Ken Fosty
    Colleen Serban
    Fern Toews
    Lori and Ron Drebinsky
    H. DeCuypere
    Dan Moroz
    Walter Loewen
    Marla Pott (Taem Consultants)
    Diana Popowich
    This kind of support allows us to carry out activities such as publishing a newsletter, public education and displays. The April newsletter will contain the dates and locations of the 2001 field trips for our members. Please renew your membership now so that you will receive this information. Thank you, as well, to all the members who sent in donations. Your generosity has recently allowed the group to purchase a small color TV and a VCR for use in displays.

    We entered three posters for display at the 6th Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference held in Winnipeg February 22-25th. Board members, Bud Ewacha, Doris Ames and John Neufeld, were able to attend this conference. (See Doris' report later in this newsletter.)

    Upcoming display dates are as follows:

    Manitoba Orchid Society Show
    Assiniboine Park Conservatory
    2355 Corydon Avenue
    March 23-25th
    Grant Park Shopping Centre
    1120 Grant Avenue
    April 1-7th
    Polo Park Shopping Centre
    1485 Portage Avenue
    April 23-29th
    Come out to these events and show your support for conservation. If you are able to work a shift or two with the displays, please let Bud know at 253-4741, as soon as possible.
    Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday April 11, 2001 7:30 P.M. at Powerland Computers 170 Marion Street. Election for positions on the board will take place at this time. All members in good standing are eligible to let their name stand for these positions. There will be a review of NOCI's work over the past year and our displays will be on hand. Refreshments will be served. Please join us.

    6th Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference
    Feb. 22-25, 2001
    Royal Crown Conference Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

    The theme for this conference was "Sharing Common Ground." The conference was co-chaired by Wanda McFayden of the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association and Carol Scott from the Wildlife Branch, Manitoba Conservation. According to keynote speaker John Morriss, editor of "The Cooperator," the theme refers to "the necessity for farmers and conservationists to work together to save the environment. The land should be looked at as a long term legacy, not just capital." More than 400 delegates attended from Western Canada and the northern United States. This conference is held in a different place every three years. There were dozens of knowledgeable and interesting speakers and presenters from the Prairie provinces. Danny Blair, who spoke on "The Impact of Climate Change," and Art Hanson on "The Role of Biotechnology" were outstanding in the Plenary Sessions. In the Concurrent Sessions and closer to home, Gordon Goldsborough's presentation on "The Decline of Delta Marsh" was especially interesting. He is the director of the Field Station at Delta Marsh. It was shocking to hear him say that this wonderful marsh and its waterfowl population may be doomed because of water level regulation, introduced carp, and hybrid cattails. He suggests several steps that may reverse the situation:

    (1) manipulate the marsh independently of Lake Manitoba,
    (2) reconstruct the old carp exclusion fences,
    (3) deregulate the lake either partially or completely,
    (4) inform and educate the stakeholders in the hope that they will demand that difficult political decisions be made.

    Helios Hernandez and Francois Blouin gave an interesting talk on Manitoba's endangered and threatened species and the protection of their habitat. The Manitoba Protected Areas Initiative will have profound effects on the protection of native orchids as well as other endangered native plants and animals and their habitat.

    At the Saturday night banquet, conservation awards were given out. Dr. Karen Johnson, curator of Botany at the Museum of Man and Nature, received the Prairie Conservation award in the professional category because of her many years of dedicated work to save endangered species and their habitat. Among her many accomplishments, special mention was made of her work with the Small White Lady's-Slipper (Cypripedium candidum). Dr. Johnson will be familiar to many of our members who took a botany course from her. Congratulations, Karen.

    A highlight of the conference was the banquet guest speaker, Shane Mahoney. He is Chief of Wildlife and Ecosystem Research for Newfoundland and Labrador. He gave a heartfelt and powerful speech on the demise of the Northern Cod and the profound economic and cultural effects this has had on Newfoundland's population. He reminded us that "conservation is a complex issue and you can lose what you love overnight. Nature is diminished (because of the loss of the cod) - the full, extent we do not know." NOCI has ordered a copy of the Proceedings which may be available for your inspection at our AGM on April 11th.

    All in all, it was a very busy and stimulating four days. Now we need to start saving up for the next one to be held in Alberta in 2004.

    Orchid of the month (cover photo)
    Slender Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes lacera)

    Sandy pine forests are the usual habitat for this delicate little orchid. The plant is tall, slender and fast growing. Its clump of basal leaves are withered by the time it blooms in July and August but it can be recognized by the distinctive flower spike. The spike consists of tiny, white flowers twisted in a loose, one-sided spiral around the stem. Upon examination with a magnifying glass, the tubular flowers are seen to have a green stripe on the lip. The seed pods are extremely flimsy and hard to find when dry, but the faded leaves remain all winter. There are other varieties of Spiranthes in Manitoba and various hybrids. The hybrids are confusing and hard even for experts to identify. They are thought to be pollinated by small bees (Luer 1975). Like the Goodyeras, Spiranthes are able to survive in reforested areas. These little orchids are often overlooked but they are pretty when seen against a background of green moss and are a real challenge to photograph well.