BC List Status:
Red (Candidates for- Extirpated, Endangered, or Threatened status)
Indian pipe (Monotropa uniflora) is a similar looking, white, nonphotosynthetic perennial that occurs in the same types of habitats as phantom orchid. The two species can easily be distinguished because phantom orchid has numerous upright flowers on each stem and the flowers bear a yellow gland on the lower petal. In comparison, Indian pipe bears only a single drooping, bell-shaped flower on each stem and the flowers are pure white. Also, phantom orchid flowers are fragrant while those of Indian pipe are not.
This species has limiting recovery and recolonization potential due to the unique relationship between the orchid, fungus and tree species which inhibits the artificial propagation.
Negative effect of disturbance activities that impact either the partner tree or the fungal partner, whether the orchid is visible or not or dormant on local population persistence.
Habitat modification and destruction resulting from urban development, timber harvesting and recreational activities such as mountain biking.
Harvesting of plants by collectors and hobbyists can damage or destroy plants and reduce wild populations.
Apply conservation and management objectives as set-out in “the National Recovery Strategy for the Phantom Orchid (Cepalanthera austiniae) in Canada (Draft in review).” and “Develop with Care Phantom Orchid. Factsheet #15. Environmental Guidelines for Urban and Rural Land Development in British Columbia.” Limit collection activities and apply practices identified in the Province’s “Voucher Specimen Collection, Preparation, Identification and Storage Protocol: Plants & Fungi.” Inventory activities should consider approaches and references identified in E-Flora’s Protocols For Rare Vascular Plant Surveys.
This species is listed under the Federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and may be subject to protections and prohibitions under the BC Wildlife Act. Habitat for this species may also be governed under provincial and federal regulations including the Fish Protection Act and Federal Fisheries Act as well as Regional and local municipal bylaws.