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Cypripedium acaule is often confused with:
Veratrum viride V. viride
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Phytolacca americana Phytolacca americana
Aesculus flava Tree in full bloom
Phlox carolina Phlox carolina

Moccasin-flower Cypripedium acaule

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
sip-rih-PEE-dee-um a-KAW-lee
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Pink Lady Slipper ia a native plant in the orchid family that needs very acidic soils and prefers at least partial shade and well-drained slopes. It is usually found in pine forests, where it can be seen in large colonies. In NC it can be found in the mountains. They are difficult to transplant and grow and are best left to their native habitat which is dry to mesic, acidic forests and woodlands, often under pines, other conifers, and/or oak trees.

The seeds require the presence of a specific Rhizoctonia fungus to germinate and grow. As the plant matures the relationship becomes symbiotic with the fungus. There at 2 basal leaves with prominent parallel venation from which a single stalk emerges with a single large usually pink orchid type flower that has a slit to attract bees inside for pollination. The bees get no benefit from the plant and they learn to avoid them resulting in low pollination rates.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#perennials#bumblebees#NC native#food source summer#food source pollen#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#bee friendly#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#perennials#bumblebees#NC native#food source summer#food source pollen#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#bee friendly#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cypripedium
    Species:
    acaule
    Family:
    Orchidaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    In the past, the root was used as a remedy for nervousness, tooth pain, and muscle spasms.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & E. Canada to North Central & Eastern U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AL , CT , DC , DE , GA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , SK
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts bees for pollenation
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is an ascending capsule that ripens to brown and contains thousands of tiny seeds. Fruit displays in August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Pink
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Hollow, 2 in. pink pouch with heavy veining and a center groove; other sepals and petals are greenish-brown and lance-shaped. Flowers bloom from April to June
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Produces 2 opposite green basal leaves with conspicuous parallel veins that sheath the stem. They are 3½ to 9 inches long, 1 to 3½ inches wide
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Green leafless bristly hairy stem
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Skin irritation after contact
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unidentified
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Leaves