Meet The Ladies: The Slipper Orchids

Cypripedium reginae: Showy lady's slipper

The showy lady's slipper occurs from the northeastern seaboard west to Minnesota, south to Arkansas in widely scattered colonies. Throughout its entire range, it is listed as threatened or endangered in almost every state where it still exists.

the showy lady's slipper.
Photo by Thomas G. Barnes.

Map of the range of Cypripedium reginae in North America.
Courtesy of Flora of North America.

Cypripedium reginae is a large, multi-stemmed plant with stems up to 35 in. in length and with 3-5 leaves per stem. The mature plant will have 1-3 large flowers. The flower is mostly white with a rosy lip and white petals and sepals.

Cypripedium reginae in its habitat.
Photo by Nevin Aspinwall, Saint Louis University.

Cypripedium reginae grows in hummocky, damp deciduous forests and on rocky outcrops with rich organic soil that may be alkaline or limestone based. Like all other Cypripedium species, requires well-drained soil.

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