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Moccasin Flower Cypripedium parviflorum

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
sy-prih-PEE-dee-um par-vi-FLOR-um
Description

Yellow Lady's-slipper is a native orchid found in forested areas, open meadows and along streams of the United States and Canada. It is found in the Piedmont and mountains of NC. The leaves are usually hairy and the unusual flower occurs in late spring to early summer. It ha a bright yellow lower lip, the slipper, that is red-spotted inside. The upper sepals are light to dark burgundy and twist outward in spirals. Deer love to eat this plant. 

The plant varies per region as to the size of the flower and leaves and the amount of hairiness on the leaves and stems. The variety found in NC is var. parviflorum. It is listed as imperiled.

Yellow Lady's Slipper is one of the easier orchids to grow in the garden. It will need to be planted on compost-amended soil where the roots can be spread out horizontally on top of the soil, then covered in compost since the roots do not grow into the soil like most plants. It prefers partial shady conditions and will form colonies over time. Use in a woodland native garden.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. exiliens
    Found in Alaska and is rare and imperiled
  • var. makasin
    northeastern and central U.S. and Canada and has strongly scented flowers
  • var. parviflorum
    Found in mid-Atlantic states, smaller flowers
  • var. pubescens
    More southernly range than var. makasin
var. exiliens, var. makasin, var. parviflorum, var. pubescens
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#partial shade#yellow flowers#native perennial#spring flowers#NC native#forest#summer flowers#deer browsing plant#dappled sunlight#groundcover#woodlands
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. exiliens
    Found in Alaska and is rare and imperiled
  • var. makasin
    northeastern and central U.S. and Canada and has strongly scented flowers
  • var. parviflorum
    Found in mid-Atlantic states, smaller flowers
  • var. pubescens
    More southernly range than var. makasin
var. exiliens, var. makasin, var. parviflorum, var. pubescens
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#partial shade#yellow flowers#native perennial#spring flowers#NC native#forest#summer flowers#deer browsing plant#dappled sunlight#groundcover#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cypripedium
    Species:
    parviflorum
    Family:
    Orchidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada and U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , NT , ON , PE , QC , SK
    Wildlife Value:
    Damaged by deer. Pollinated by bees
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • 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 Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    Seedpods split open to release fine seeds that are carried by the wind
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    1-2 flowers per stem are 1.5 to 2 inches long. The petals and sepals range from pale to deep magenta-brown and twist outwards in spirals. The lower lip is pouch-like, intense yellow with reddish spotty venation inside. Flowers can vary depending on the region. Blooms late spring to early summer.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    3-5 light to medium green leaves with darker venation are oval to ovate, up to 6 inches long and 4 inches across. The base is clasping to the stem. Hairs present.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    4-5 stems per plant and covered with hairs
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees