(pronounced: kah-LIP-so)




Diminutive cormose terrestrials. Stems very short. Leaves solitary, petiolate, appressed to the substrate. Inflorescences solitary, scapose, terminal, one-flowered. Flowers showy. Sepals and petals subsimilar, subequal, free, spreading. Lip obscurely three-lobed, sessile, saccate. Column lightly arching, broadly winged; pollinia 4, sessile on a common viscidium.


From the Greek Kalypso, a Greek nymph in allusion to its secluded forest habitats.


A monotypic circumboreal genus.

Care and Culture Card

See basic growing conditions and care information below.


Ackerman, J. D. 1981. Pollination biology of Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis (Orchidaceae): a food-deception system. Madroño 28(3):101-110.

Boyden, T. C. 1982. The pollination biology of Calypso bulbosa var. americana (Orchidaceae): initial deception of bumblebee visitors. Oecol. 55:178-184.

Buzanov, V. A. 1975. Distribution and conservation of the orchid Calypso bulbosa (L.) Reichb. f. in the Udmurt Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Bull. Gl. Bot. Sada 5:112-113.

Law, S. K. and E. C. Yeung 1989. Embryology of Calypso bulbosa I. Ovule development. Amer. J. Bot. 76:1668-1680.

Law, S. K. and E. C. Yeung 1989. Embryology of Calypso bulbosa II. Embryo development. Canad. J. Bot. 70:461-468.

Mosquin, T. 1970. The reproductive biology of Calypso bulbosa (Orchidaceae). Canadian Field Nat. 84:291-296.

Perner, H. and U. Paterny 2000. Calypso bulbosa: die Varietäten, ihre Verbreitung und Biologie. Die Orchidee 51(2):[034]-[044].

Proctor, H. C. and L. D. Harder 1995. Effect of pollination success on floral longevity in the orchid Calypso bulbosa. Amer. J. Bot. 82:1131-1136.