Cypripedium reginae

Continuing with the orchids of Manitoba series, today’s entry features a species previously highlighted on Botany Photo of the Day: Cypripedium reginae, or the showy lady’s-slipper. The difference is that this individual might be considered a pure white-flowered variant (PDF), which is uncommonly observed. Some people recognize the pure white-flowered variant as constituting a separate botanical form (f. albolabium), but the Flora of North America makes no such distinction: Cypripedium reginae. In this population of several hundred plants, all were paler than the typical (see previous BPotD entry), but only a few were pure white. This suggests to me that a white-flowered form should not be scientifically recognized, as the pink blushing varies along a more-or-less continuous gradient from being absent to strongly present. That said, it is worthwhile in horticulture to recognize colour variation. If seeking this species out for your garden (in any of its colour variants), be sure to purchase from a reputable nursery selling material propagated via tissue culture.

Cypripedium reginae

8 responses to “Cypripedium reginae”

  1. k garness

    This orchid is becoming increasingly rare due to habitat loss. There are only four native populations left in my state. : (
    I have seen it in cedar-tamarack bogs on tussocks in association with various sedges and ferns.

  2. Irma in Sweden

    So lovely!
    I was so fortunate this spring to be able to see its relative Cypripedium calceolus L live in a small island in the Stockholm archipelago. When you see them they are so out of this world

  3. Randa

    Daniel, I finally got to the Purdon Conservation Area this year. While it was at the tail end of the blooming season for the Showy Lady’s Slipper, the flowers were still stunning. (Added bonus at the conservation area: the Pitcher Plants. So fascinating.)
    I didn’t have time to walk the Ted Mosquin Highland Trail…but plan to next year for sure!

  4. Diana Ferguson

    Magnificent. Thank you so much for this beauty. reginae so appropriate.

  5. Bonnie

    that’s pretty. Good photo too.

  6. elizabeth a airhart

    lovely slippers to fit on the little folks queen when she dances
    her way up the mountains and over the brooks in her spring fling
    did you not hear the music daniel

  7. Clayton Osluind

    Cypripedium reginae is the State Flower of Minnesota. We do have the white form appear among populations of those with the more common pink coloration. It is referred to as Cypripedium reginae forma albolabium by Spangle Creek Labs where it is propagated by seed. I believe seed from specimens that are pure white appears to come true to being all white.

  8. Chris Southwick

    Lovely to see this beautiful specimen! In the 70s I was familiar with some localized specimens of cypripedium reginae on the flats above the Toad River at Mile 442 of the Alaska Highway in far northern British Columbia. I hope they’re still there.

Leave a Reply