|Like the nymph Calypso -- whose charms lured Ulysses into a 7-year stay on her island -- this diminutive woodland Orchid casts an irresistible spell. Coveted by native plant growers, the single blossom's sepals and petals sweep up from a hairy lip, white or pale pink with purple spots. A single dark green leaf anchors the rosy stem. Naturalizes in woodland or bog gardens that duplicate its wild habitat. Though not officially protected from collection, wild specimens will not survive transplanting without expert care. Seek out propagated plants from reputable specialists. Plant the corm-like rootstock 3 inches deep in moist, neutral to acid soil with plenty of leaf mold or peat. Can also grow potted in moist, humus-rich soil in a cool spot. Keep constantly moist. Needs cool shade in summer, more light in its fall growing season. Let soil dry out a bit when leaf withers. Handles temperatures below 0º F if covered by snow, leaf mulch or evergreen boughs. Grow more by carefully removing offsets.
The Americana variety sports a dense tuft of yellow hairs on the lip. Duller overall, the Occidentalis variety has a sparse white tuft.
Attributes - Calypso bulbosa
Plant Type: Perennial
Bloom Season: Early Spring through Mid Summer
Flower Color: Pink, Purple
Height: 2 in. to 9 in.
Width: 7 in.
Sunlight: Partial Sun, Shade
Climate: Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Notes: Thrives in Wet Soil. Container Plants, Showy Flowers.