Cypripedium calceolus L. - Yellow Lady's Slipper

Cyprepedium calceolus plant

Family - Orchidaceae

Stems - No info. yet.

Leaves - No info. yet.

Inflorescence - No info. yet.

Flowers - No info. yet.

Cyprepedium calceolus flower

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - North and East-facing slopes of ravines, mesic, upland woods.

Origin - Native to U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Other info. - This showy and striking species can be found throughout Missouri. The plant is just one of a larger complex of plants which occur in Europe, Asia, and North America. At present, two varieties are recognized in Missouri. Variety parviflorum (Salisb.) Fernald has a corolla lip 2-3cm long, and 4-6 leaves per flowering stem. Variety pubescens (Willd.) Correll has a corolla lip 3-6cm long and 3-4 leaves per flowering stem. Both varieties are commonly scattered throughout the state. A rare white form of var. parviflorum has been collected in Missouri in a couple of southern counties.
Due to its beauty, the plant has been dug for gardening use and the species has declined in the wild. The roots are also collected for medicinal use. The plant was used traditionally to remedy headaches, hysteria, insomnia, depression, and menstrual irregularities.
It would be a shame to see this species decline more in the wild because of harvesting. Plants will grow from seed and pods can be easily collected in the late summer.

Photographs taken in Linville, NC., 4-30-03.


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