(pronounced: sip-ree-PEE-dee-um)



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Deciduous terrestrials with fleshy, non-tuberoid roots. Stems short or elongate-erect. Leaves few in a basal rosette or numerous and scattered along the stem, sessile, pubescent. Inflorescences terminal, erect, pubescent, scapes or long-pedunculate congested (subcapitate) racemes from short-stemmed plants or racemes on elongate stems, the floral bract conspicuous, often subequal to the leaves. Flowers resupinate, often pubescent and with ciliate margins. Dorsal sepal and petals free, the lateral sepals fused for their length forming a synsepal. Lip pouch-like, unlobed or obscurely three-lobed by the infolding of marginal flaps, sessile, without callus. Column stalked, with a broad shield-shaped terminal staminode, with a pair of lateral anthers and a central stigmatic surface; pollen coalesced in a sticky mass.


From the Greek Kypris, meaning Venus, and pedion, meaning sandal, alluding to the beautiful slipper shape of the lip.


A panboreal genus of 45 species extending southwards into the mountains of China and Mexico. Common names: Lady’s Slipper Orchid, Moccasin Flower.

Care and Culture Card

See basic growing conditions and care information below.


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Atwood, J. T. 1984. In defense of Cypripedium kentuckiense C. F. Reed. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 53(8):835-841.

Atwood, J. T. 1985. The Cypripedium calceolus L. complex in North America. In: K. Tan (ed.), Proc. 11th World Orchid Conf. pp. 106-110.

Averyanov, L. V. 2000. The genus Cypripedium (Orchidaceae) in Russia. Lindleyana 15(4):197-221.

Baldwin, J. T. 1970. White phase in flower development in Cypripedium acaule. Rhodora 72:142-143.

Ballard, W. W. 1987. Sterile propagation of Cypripedium reginae from seeds. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 56:935-946.

Barkman, T. J., J. H. Beaman and D. A. Gage 1997. Floral fragrance variation in Cypripedium: implications for evolutionary and ecological studies. Phytochemistry 44(5):875-882.

Bornbusch, A. H., L. A. Swender and D. L. Hoogerwerf 1994. Genetic variation in Massachusetts populations of Cypripedium arietinum R. Brown in Ait. and C. acaule Ait. (Orchidaceae). Rhodora 96(888):354-369.

Borsos, O. 1952. Geobotanische monographie der orchideen der Pannonischen und Karpatischen flora I. Cypripedium. Ann. Biol. Univ. Hung. 2:183-192.

Bowles, M. L. 1984. The tallgrass prairie orchids Platanthera leucophaea (Nutt.) Lindl. and Cypripedium candidum Muhl. ex Willd., some aspects of their status, biology, and ecology and implications toward management. Natural Areas J. 3(4):14-37.

Brownell, V. R. and P. M. Catling 1987. Notes on the distribution and taxonomy of Cypripedium fasciculatum Kellogg ex Watson (Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 2(1):53-57.

Case, M. A. 1993. High levels of allozyme variation within Cypripedium calceolus (Orchidaceae) and low levels of divergence among its varieties. Syst. Bot. 18:663-677.

Case, M. A. 1994. Extensive variation in the levels of genetic diversity and degree of relatedness among five species of Cypripedium (Orchidaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 81:175-184.

Case, M. A., H. T. Mlodozeniec, L. E. Wallace, and T. W. Weldy 1998. Conservation genetics and taxonomic status of the rare Kentucky lady’s slipper: Cypripedium kentuckiense (Orchidaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 85:1779-1786.

Catling, P. M. and G. Knerer 1980. Pollination of the small white lady’s slipper (Cypripedium candidum) in Lambton County, southern Ontario. Canad. Field-Nat. 94:435-438.

Cavestro, W. 1996. Cypripedium formosanum Hay., une remarquable Orchidée. L’Orchidoph. 122:131-134.

Chen, S.-C. 1983. Two pairs of vicarious species of Cypripedium (Orchidaceae) from eastern Asia and eastern North America. Brittonia 35(2):159-163.

Chen, S.-C. and K.-Y. Lang 1986. Cypripedium subtropicum, a new species related to Selenipedium. Acta Phytotax. Sinica 24:317-322.

Chen, S.-C. and K. Y. Lang 1989. A new Cypripedium from China, Cypripedium subtropicum. Orchid Digest 53(3):115-118.

Chu, C.-C. and K. W. Mudge 1994. Effects of prechilling and liquid suspension culture on seed germination of the yellow Lady’s Slipper orchid (Cypripedium calceolus var. pubescens). Lindleyana 9(3):153-159.

Coleman, R. A. 1989. The cypripediums of California. Fremontia 17(2):17-19.

Cribb, P. 1996. Cypripedium flavum in Südwest-China. Die Orchidee 47(3):132-34.

Cribb, P. 1997. Zwei Miniaturfrauenschuhe aus Sichuan. Die Orchidee 48(6):228-231.

Cribb, P. 1998. Cypripedium palangshanense. Orchids 67(4):376-379.

Cribb, P. J. and P. Corkhill 1999. Neues zu Cypripedien aus China. Die Orchidee 50(5):[073]-[078].

Cribb, P. and P. Corkhill 2001. Notes on Chinese Cypripedium. New Plantsman 8(1):30-34.

Cribb, P. J. and P. Green 1997. (1311) Proposal to reject the name Cypripedium hirsutum (Orchidaceae). Taxon 46(4):771-772.

Cribb, P. J. and M. A. Soto Arenas 1993. The genus Cypripedium in Mexico and Central America. Orquídea (Mex.) 13(1-2):205-214.

Curtis, J. T. 1932. A new Cypripedium hybrid. Rhodora 34:239-242.

Davis, R. W. 1986. The pollination biology of Cypripedium acaule (Orchidaceae). Rhodora 88:445-450.

DeMarie, E., M. Weimer and K. W. Mudge 1991. In vitro germination and development of Showy Lady’s Slipper orchids (Cypripedium reginae Walt.) seeds. HortScience 26:272.

DePauw, M. A. and W. R. Remphrey 1993. In vitro germination of three Cypripedium species in relation to time of seed collection, media and cold treatment. Canad. J. Bot. 71:879-885.

Durkee, S. 2000. Cypripedium acaule and Cypripedium reginae. Orchids 69(9):864-869.

Franchet, M. 1888. Note sur les Cypripedium de la Chine occidentale. Bull. Soc. Philomath. Paris 1888:134-143.

Francini, E. 1931. Richerche embriologiche e cariologiche sul genere Cypripedium. N. Giorn. Bot. Ital. 38:155-212.

Frosch, W. 1997. Eine Reise zu den Cypripedien in Yunnan. Die Orchidee 48(2):39-41.

Frosch, W. 1997. Cypripedium yunnanense Franchet 1894. Die Orchidee 48(4):169.

Frosch, W. 1998. Die Cypripedien Manchuriens. J. Orchideenfr. 5(3):156-159.

Garay, L. A. 1953. A new natural hybrid Cypripedium fron Ontario. Canad. J. Bot. 31:660-662.

Hagsater, E. 1984. Cypripedium dickinsonianum Hagsater: una nueva especie de Chiapas, Mexico. Orquídea(Mex.) 9(2):203-208.

Harvais, G. 1973. Growth requirements and development of Cypripedium reginae in axenic culture. Canad. J. Bot. 60:327-332.

Harvais, G. 1982. An improved medium for growing the orchid Cypripedium reginae. Canad. J. Bot. 60:2547-2555.

Karasawa, K. and M. Aoyama 1986. Kayomorphological studies on Cypripedium in Japan and Formosa. Bull. Hiroshima Bot. Gard. 8:1-22.

Kull, T. and T. Paaver 1997. Patterns of aspartate aminotransferase variation in relation to population size, founder effect, and phytogeographic history in Cypripedium calceolus. Proc. Estonian Acad. Sci. Biol. Ecol. 46:4-11.

Lauzer, D., M. St-Arnaurd and D. Barabé 1004. Tetrazolium staining and in vitro germination of mature seeds of Cypripedium acaule (Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 9(3):197-204.

Leroux, G., D. Barabé and J. Vieth 1997. Morphogenesis of the protocorm of Cypripedium acaule (Orchidaceae). Pl. Syst. Evol. 205:53-72.

Magrath, L. K. and J. L. Norman 1989. Nomenclatural notes on Calopogon, Corallorhiza and Cypripedium (Orchidaceae) in the Great Plains region. Sida 13:371-372.

Marshall, H. H., A. T. H. Gross and G. A. Stevenson 1966. Natural hybrids of lady’s slippers (Cypripedium) in Manitoba. Rhodora 68:53-58.

Nilsson, L. A. 1979. Anthecological studies on the Lady’s Slipper, Cypripedium calceolus (Orchidaceae). Bot. Not. 132:329-347.

Okuyama, H. 1997. Die Cypripedien Japans. Die Orchidee 48(6):238-248.

Oliva, A. P. and J. Arditti 1984. Seed germination of North American orchids. II. Native California and related species of Aplectrum, Cypripedium and Spiranthes. Bot. Gaz. 145:495-501.

Perner, H. 1993. Cypripedium formosanum Hayata 1916. Die Orchidee 44(1): Orchideenkartei Seite 711-712.

Perner, H. 1996. Einige Bemerkungen zur Kultur von Cypripedium flavum. Die Orchidee 47(3):134-136.

Perner, H. 1998. Die Frauenschuhorchideen des russischen Fernen Ostens. Die Orchidee 49(6):299-311.

Perner, H. 2000. Cypripedium ?ventricosum Swartz 1800 [12]. Die Orchidee 51(2): Orchideenkartei Seite 919-920.

Primack, R. B. and P. Hall 1990. Costs of reproduction in the pink lady’s slipper orchid: a four year experimental study. Amer. Natur. 136:638-656.

Ramsay, M. M. and J. Stewart 1998. Re-establishment of the lady’s slipper orchid (Cypripedium calceolus L.) in Britain. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 126:173-181.

Reed, C. F. 1981. Cypripedium kentuckiense Reed, a new species of orchid in Kentucky. Phytologia 48(5):426-428.

Reed, C. F. 1982. Additional notes on Cypripedium kentuckiense Reed. Phytologia 50(4):286-288.

St-Arnaud, M., D. Lauzer and D. Barabé 1992. In vitro germination and early growth of seedlings of Cypripedium acaule (Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 7:22-27.

Sheviak, C. J. 1990. A new form of Cypripedium montanum Dougl. ex Lindl. Rhodora 92(870):47-49.

Sing-chi, C. 1983. Two pairs of vicarious species of Cypripedium (Orchidaceae) from Eastern Asia and Eastern North America. Brittonia 35(2):159-163.

Sood, S. K. and P. R. M. Rao 1988. Studies in the embryology of the diandrous orchid Cypripedium cordigerum (Cypripedieae, Orchidaceae). Plant Syst. Evolut. 160:159-168.

Soukup, V. 1977. Cypripedium daultoni Soukup, sp. nov., a new lady’s-slipper from northeastern Kentucky. The Mid-American 56(1):9-14.

Stoutamire, W. P. 1967. Flower biology of the lady’s slippers (Orchidaceae: Cypripedium). Michigan Bot. 6(4):159-175.

Tremblay, R. L. 1994. Frequency and consequences of multi-parental pollinations in a population of Cypripedium calceolus var. pubescens (Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 9(3):161-167.

Vogt, C. A. 1990. Pollination in Cypripedium reginae (Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 5(3):145-150.

Weinert, M. 1998. Kulturhinweise für die Gattung Cypripedium. Die Orchidee 49(1):17-26.

Weldy, T. W., H. T. Mlodozeniec, L. E. Wallace and M. A. Case 1996. The current status of Cypripedium kentuckiense (Orchidaceae) including a morphological analysis of a newly discovered population in eastern Virginia. Sida 17(2):423-435.

Wilson, C. L., K. Maxfield, and E. Livingston 1982. Cypripedium furcatum Raf., a “new” and beautiful species in the Southern United States. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 51(9):900-902.

Zhu, G.-H. and S.-C. Chen 1999. Cypripedium taibaiense (Orchidaceae), a new species from Shaanxi, China. Novon 9:454-456.