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U.S. Forest Service

The Slipper Orchids

Cypripedium californicum: California lady’s slipper

The California lady’s slipper occurs primarily in the Siskiyou Mountains of northern California and extreme southwestern Oregon.

the am's-head lady's slipper.Photo by Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Mary's College of California.

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

The California lady's slipper orchid often growing in clumps may be over 2 ft in height. Each individual has 5 to 10 leaves up the length of the stem and the flowering stem may have upwards to 12 small flowers with yellow-green sepals and a whitish pouch with brownish-purple veins inside.

Cypripedium californicum grows in the damp understory of coniferous forests near streams, and is often found growing near the rare California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica).

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Cypripedium californicum in its habitat. Photo by Nevin Aspinwall,