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U.S. Forest Service

The Slipper Orchids

Cypripedium passerinum: Sparrow's egg lady's slipper

Sparrow's egg lady's slipper occurs farther north than any other Cypripedium in boreal and sub-arctic regions of Canada and Alaska and south to northern Montana.

the sparrow's egg lady's slipper.Photo by Richard Reeves, Native Orchid Conservation Inc.

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

Cypripedium passerinum is a small multi-stemmed species with stems up to 18 inches in height. The mature stem has 3 to 5 leaves and up to 3 flowers. The petals and labellum are white with purple spots which are thought to resemble a sparrow's egg; the dorsal sepal is pale green.

Cypripedium passerinum grows in spruce forests in thickets and openings, as well as bogs, tundra, and in coarse soils of terraces and stream banks.

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Cypripedium passerinum in its habitat. Photo by of Christiane Neufeld, Native Orchid Conservation Inc.