Also  known as moccasin flower and stemless lady’s slipper, this herbaceous perennial is a member of the orchid family, Orchidaceae.  It is native to the Great Lakes Region, Northeast and the Appalachians where it grow  mixed hardwood coniferous forest in acidic, moist, well-drained soil.  Plant grow up to 15″ tall from a tuberous root system and have a pair of oval pleated basal leaves up to 8″ long. A solitary flower appears in late spring to summer on a leafless softly hairy scape 1′ or more long.  The  flower is up to 5″ across and has a magenta to pink pouch that is prominently veined and is split in the front rather than a round opening.  Pink lady’s slipper requires soil with a pH of 4-4.5 and is difficult to grow.  The genus name ,Cypripedium, comes from the Greek words Kypris referring to the island where Venus was worshiped, and pedilon, meaning slipper referring to the shape of the flower.  The specific epithet, acaule, comes from the Greek word ákaulos meaning stemless.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Solitary flower up to 5″ across with magenta to pink pouch from late spring to summer

Size: 1-1.5′ H x 9″ W

Light: Shade, partial shade

Soil:Fertile, consistently moist, well-drained, pH 4-4.5

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Care: Very difficult to grow

Pests and Diseases: Root rot, slugs

Propagation: Division

Companion Plants: Ferns, wild bleeding heart, Trillium


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons



By Karen