New York Natural Heritage Program
Fairy Wand
Chamaelirium luteum (L.) Gray

Habitat [-]
A long-lived plant that is often a calciphile of oak woodlands, mesic woodlands, oak barrens, mixed young mesophytic woods, old pastures with red cedars, moist thickets, calcareous seeps in red maple-tamarack swamps; calcareous wet meadows within old successional woods, calcareous rocky summits, and rich sloping fens. In areas where the canopy is closed, the plants may remain vegetative; however, flowers typically appear as soon as the canopy is opened (New York Natural Heritage Program 2004). Moist meadows, thickets, rich wooded slopes, and covers (Flora of North America 2002). Moist woods and bogs (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). Moist meadows and woods (Newcomb 1977). Meadows, thickets and rich woods (Fernald 1970).

Associated Ecological Communities [-]
  • Allegheny oak forest*
    A hardwood forest that occurs on well-drained sites in the unglaciated portion of southwestern New York. This is a forest of mixed oaks with a diverse canopy and richer ground flora than other oak communities in the state.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Calcareous talus slope woodland*
    An open or closed canopy community that occurs on talus slopes composed of calcareous bedrock such as limestone or dolomite. The soils are usually moist and loamy; there may be numerous rock outcrops.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Limestone woodland
    A woodland that occurs on shallow soils over limestone bedrock in non-alvar settings, and usually includes numerous rock outcrops. There are usually several codominant trees, although one species may become dominant in any one stand.
  • Maple-basswood rich mesic forest*
    A species rich hardwood forest that typically occurs on well-drained, moist soils of circumneutral pH. Rich herbs are predominant in the ground layer and are usually correlated with calcareous bedrock, although bedrock does not have to be exposed. The dominant trees are sugar maple, basswood, and white ash.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Red cedar rocky summit
    A community that occurs on warm, dry, rocky ridgetops and summits where the bedrock is calcareous (such as limestone or dolomite, but also marble, amphibolite, and calcsilicate rock), and the soils are more or less calcareous. The vegetation may be sparse or patchy, with numerous lichen covered rock outcrops.
  • Red maple-tamarack peat swamp*
    A swamp that occurs on organic soils (peat or muck) in poorly drained depressions. These swamps are often spring fed or enriched by seepage of mineral-rich groundwater resulting in a stable water table and continually saturated soil. The dominant trees are red maple and tamarack. These species usually form an open canopy (50 to 70% cover) with numerous small openings dominated by shrubs or sedges.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Rich mesophytic forest
    A hardwood or mixed forest that resembles the mixed mesophytic forests of the Allegheny Plateau south of New York but is less diverse. It occurs on rich, fine-textured, well-drained soils that are favorable for the dominance of a wide variety of tree species. A canopy with a relatively large number of codominant trees characterizes this forest. Canopy codominants include five or more of the following species: red oak, red maple, white ash, American beech, sugar maple, black cherry, cucumber tree, and black birch.
  • Rich sloping fen*
    A small, gently sloping wetland that occurs in a shallow depression on a slope composed of calcareous glacial deposits. Sloping fens are fed by small springs or groundwater seepage. Like other rich fens, their water sources have high concentrations of minerals and high pH values, generally from 6.0 to 7.8. They often have water flowing at the surface in small channels or rivulets.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Successional northern hardwoods*
    A hardwood or mixed forest that occurs on sites that have been cleared or otherwise disturbed. Canopy trees are usually relatively young in age (25-50 years old) and signs of earlier forest disturbance are often evident. Characteristic trees and shrubs include any of the following: quaking aspen, big-tooth aspen, balsam poplar, paper birch, gray birch, pin cherry, black cherry, red maple, and white pine.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Successional old field
    A meadow dominated by forbs and grasses that occurs on sites that have been cleared and plowed (for farming or development), and then abandoned or only occasionally mowed.

Associated Species [-]
  • Red Maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)
  • Bristleleaf Sedge (Carex eburnea)
  • American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)
  • American Chestnut (Castanea dentata)
  • Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
  • American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
  • White Ash (Fraxinus americana)
  • Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
  • Cucumber Magnolia (Magnolia acuminata)
  • Canada May-flower (Maianthemum canadense)
  • Indian-pipe (Monotropa uniflora)
  • Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
  • Wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
  • Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)
  • Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
  • Black Oak (Quercus velutina)
  • American Basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)
  • Mapleleaf Viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium)