Cypripedium calceolus

Lady's Slipper Orchid

These delicate, ground-dwelling Orchids are victims of their own beauty. Plundered by collectors and growers, many species struggle for survival in the wild. Sadly, dug-up specimens seldom survive in the garden. Conscientious specialists now rear them from seed and offer dozens of hybrids. Some plants sold as Cypripediums are actually Paphiopedilums. Cypripediums' unique features include the only pleated leaves among Orchids, and a cunning pollination strategy. Their flower structure forces bees to exit a different way than they came in, leaving pollen on the flower stigma. They harmonize with ferns and tender ground covers in shady woodland and bog gardens. Fleshy rhizomes slowly form clumps from which enchanting waxy blossoms emerge in late spring. Some, like the brown and rose Moccasin Flower (Cypripedium acaule), are hardy through cold winters. Grow in full or partial shade, in moist, rich acid soil, and mulch with compost or other organic matter. Place with care -- they object to transplanting. Watch out for slugs and mold. Can divide in early spring. Keep plenty of soil around the roots and replant quickly.
Cypripedium calceolus, Lady's Slipper Orchid
The blossom's bright yellow lip, sometimes spotted with red inside, reaches 1½ inches in height.

Attributes - Cypripedium calceolus

Plant Type: Perennial

Bloom Season: Mid Spring through Mid Summer

Flower Color: Yellow

Foliage: Semi-Deciduous

Height: 1 ft. 4 in. to 1 ft. 8 in.

Width: 1 ft. 4 in.

Sunlight: Partial Sun, Shade

Climate: Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Notes: Container Plants, Cut Flowers, Long Blooming, Showy Flowers.

Related Plants

Cypripedium acaule, Cypripedium montanum
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