Cypripedium franchetii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Orchidales Orchidaceae

Scientific Name: Cypripedium franchetii E.H.Wilson
Common Name(s):
English Franchet's Cypripedium
Cypripedium lanuginosum Schltr.
Cypripedium pulchrum Ames & Schltr.
Cypripedium macranthos Sw. var. villosum Hand.-Mazz.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-08-14
Assessor(s): Rankou, H.
Reviewer(s): Fay, M.

Cypripedium franchetii is rare and local with a scattered and restricted distribution to China. The trend of the population is decreasing and the abundance of the species has been significantly reduced during the recent decades due to many threats especially collection, trampling, recreation, ecological disturbance, deforestation, tourism, exploitation for horticultural and infrastructure development.  The estimated area of occupancy of the species is about 150 km2 with an estimated continuing decline in the number of mature individuals and the quality of habitats in all five known locations. Therefore, C. franchetii is assessed as Endangered (EN).

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Cypripedium franchetii is endemic to China. The species occurs in Chongqing, S Gansu, W Henan, W Hubei, S Shaanxi, S Shanxi, and NW Sichuan. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated at 782,895 km² and the area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated at 150 km². C. forrestii can be found between 1,500 and 3,700 m altitude.

Sources: Cribb 1997, Cribb and Sandison, 1998, efloras 2008, eMonocot 2013, Frosch and Cribb 2012, Perner 2002.

Countries occurrence:
China (Chongqing, Gansu, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:150Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:782895
Number of Locations:5
Lower elevation limit (metres):1500
Upper elevation limit (metres):3700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Cypripedium franchetii is a rare and local slipper orchid species with a restricted distribution, can occur as solitary plants or in small groups. The abundance of the species has been significantly reduced during the recent decades and the density is very low and the trend of the population is decreasing. However, as far as population concern no precise count has ever been made but the species is often forming more or less loose groups or colonies.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Cypripedium franchetii occurs in a variety of habitats from open woods, scrub, grassy slopes, grassy banks, edge of woodland and in forest. The species prefers moist well-drained soils in humus rich organic soils, from acid to alkaline soils. It grows in shaded to part shaded habitats and flowers from May until July. 

Sources: Cribb 1997, Cribb and Sandison, 1998, efloras 2008, eMonocot 2013, Frosch and Cribb 2012, Perner 2002.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Cypripedium franchetii is an ornamental plant and mainly used for horticulture purposes.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Cypripedium franchetii is sensitive to the environment and is typically associated with a specific set of habitat conditions, such as rocky high altitude, nutrient availability and shade.

Cypripedium franchetii is under numerous anthropogenic threats including the exploitation for horticultural purposes, ruthless collection, trampling,  weak recovery, regional and international trade,  ecological disturbance, degradation of the habitat due mainly to tourism, urbanization, infrastructure development, management activities, recreation activities by direct effect (e.g., destruction of plants) and indirect effect (e.g., alteration of habitat).

In addition to climate change, drought, deforestation, random cutting and soil erosion are also major threats.

Sources: Cribb 1997, Cribb and Sandison, 1998, efloras 2008, eMonocot 2013, Frosch and Cribb 2012, Perner 2002.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

All orchid species are included under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

However, the following actions are recommended to protect Cypripedium franchetii:

- Species based management and conservation is essential to ensure to protect the remaining limited number of individuals.

- Knowledge of the optimal growth conditions is required. Such information may help to develop effective ways to restore the natural habitat of the species

- Initiate long term community based conservation to protect the habitat and species.

- Protection of the habitat, especially from collection, trampling and deforestation.

- Fencing the vulnerable sites.

- Management of habitat to reduce competition for resources (i.e., light, water, nutrients).

 - Sympathetic management of isolated populations.

- Monitoring programs are needed to track the status of existing populations with respect to ongoing management practices.

- Learning about the mycorrhizal relationships of this species with the goal of establishing successful protocols for symbiotic ex situ propagation and cultivation.

- Further research on the life cycle and ecology of the species.

- Land protection and habitat diffuse management can be implemented to conserve habitat near or between occurrences.

- Rise public awareness.

- Protection of the living individuals of the species through legislation and legal protection which ban the species not to be picked or dug up.

- Ex situ conservation: Artificial propagation, re-introduction, seed collections.

- Monitoring and surveillance of the existing populations and sites.

- Estimate the population size and study their dynamics. 

Citation: Rankou, H. 2014. Cypripedium franchetii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T46651A43315765. . Downloaded on 24 June 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided