Cypripedium reginae (Showy Lady's-slipper)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||shade, sun; moist prairies, sedge meadows, calcareous fens|
|Bloom season:||June - July|
|Plant height:||10 to 27 inches|
|USDA PLANTS database:||Minnesota county distribution map|
Pick an image for a larger view. Most image enlargements are 50-100KB, though some may be larger. See the glossary for icon descriptions.
One or often two flowers at the top of the stem, the inflated slipper is 1 to 2 inches long, white heavily streaked with deep pink to nearly white and a rare genetic albino of pure white. Flower column white, dipped in yellow and fine splashed reds hung to dry in the slippers door. Petals and sepals are white, finely pubescent (hairy), oblong to 2 inches long. Lateral sepals are fused behind lip; dorsal (upper) sepal is erect and broader. A single leaf-like floral bract to 5 inches long sits at the top of the stem behind the ovary.
Leaves and stem:
4 to 12 leaves, broadly elliptical, 5 to 10 inches long, with wavy edges and strong longitudinal veining are evenly arranged and sheathing the stem. Several reduced leaves sheathe the lower part of the stem. Both stem and leaves richly bristled with glandular-pubescent hairs. Clumps of 20 or more stems may emerge from a single rhizome.
Notes:You are not a true Minnesotan if you cannot recognize this flower or know its name. It is our State Flower! Showing up on a wide variety of sites within its range, from wet to dry and sunny to deep shade. From the broad open meadow and road ditches of the NW they migrate deep into shady bogs in the Cass Lake Area. They are increasingly available in the nursery trade at a demanding price for gardeners wanting to test their earth skills. Stories of thievery are still told. Remember on bitter cold winter nights, we are the only state that boasts an orchid as its emblem.
Where to buy native seed and plants
Help support this site by buying seeds & plants from these vendors. Tell them we sent you!
- Showy Lady's-slipper plants
- a budding flower
- a rare albino Showy Lady's-slipper
- white (not albino) Showy Lady's-slipper plants with Small Yellow Lady's-slipper in foreground
Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken at numerous locations on state and federal land in Cass, Beltrami and Aitkin Counties and in private and commerical gardens in the Metro
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?