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Cypripedium calceolus is often confused with:
Aplectrum hyemale Aplectrum hyemale
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Viola canadensis Viola canadensis
Viola striata Viola striata
Viola sororia Viola papilionacea
Cypripedium calceolus has some common insect problems:
Slugs and Snails Found on Flowers and Foliage

Cypripedium calceolus

Previously known as:

  • Cypripedium parviflorum
Phonetic Spelling
sip-rih-PEE-dee-um kal-KEE-oh-lus
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Yellow lady slipper was first described in Germany in 1753, then later scientifically classified by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus. The Latin translation for calceolus is 'little shoe', referring to the shape of the labellum (lip).  The labellum is the part of the flower of an orchid that serves to attract insects, which pollinate the flower, and acts as their landing platform.

Arising from a rhizome, yellow lady slipper is a perennial wildflower found in mesic and seepy forests as well as other habitats.  It is one of the largest of the orchid varieties in its range.  

Each plant will produce 1 or 2 blooms.  They vary in color from reddish-brown to black, and occasionally green.  

It can be difficult to transplant.  This plant needs deep, organic soil to thrive. It is one of the easiest native orchids to maintain in a woodland garden. "Nursery-grown" plants of this type are often poached from the wild, so verify that the plants are nursery propagated before purchasing one. This plant is considered an NC Significantly Rare species.

Although not classified as endangered, climate change and human encroachment on this plant's habitats place some risks for this plant's future in the wild.  Adjusting for these hindrances, the plant has adapted to other environments, including locations where humus is present and over areas consisting of a limestone base.  It is also frequently found in the proximity of hazel trees.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Slugs and snails frequent the plant as a food source.  It is difficult to grow from seed, it can take years for the plant to be large enough to flower.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#perennials#NC native#native wildflower#wildflower garden#food source herbage#Coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FACW#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#beetles#bee friendly#difficult to grow#Audubon#wildflower
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#perennials#NC native#native wildflower#wildflower garden#food source herbage#Coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FACW#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#beetles#bee friendly#difficult to grow#Audubon#wildflower
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cypripedium
    Species:
    calceolus
    Family:
    Orchidaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Wildflower
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe and Russia
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees are the main source of pollination.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 10 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 4 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are capsules with many minute seeds, visible July-August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The lower yellow petal of each flower is inflated to form a 1-1.5 in. pouch. The long, slender petals are twisted to form a spiral. Blooming occurs from April to June.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The large pleated leaves form in an alternating fashion along the stem. Each stem will have 3 to 4 leaves with lengths over 6".
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Skin irritation after contact
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unidentified
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Leaves