Calypso bulbosa (Venus Slipper) - photos and description












 15 cm ruler.

General: Small woodland orchid with very showy flowers in May. Stems are flesh coloured, with 2 or 3 sheathing bracts. Plants glabrous.

Flowers: Flowers solitary, nodding. Lower lip pouch-shaped (a slipper), white with purple stripes inside and outside. The slipper is covered with a white 'apron' on top of which grows a small cluster of golden yellow hairs. Sepals and petals are lanceolate, pink in colour and grow in a fan shape behind the slipper. Two small ‘horns’ grow from the tip of the slipper. Slipper measured at 2 cm long and width (from tips of lateral sepals) 3 cm. The flowers have a faint fragrance, noticeable with a patch of many plants.

Leaves: One basal leaf, ovate, having two ridges / folds running the length of the blade (leaf is plicate).

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 15 cm, we measured plants from 4 cm to 15 cm tall.

Habitat: Coniferous woods in the boreal forest and Cypress Hills.

Abundance: Rare, ranked as an S3 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken May 21st, and June 8th in lodgepole pine forest, the Cypress Hills, 400 km southwest of our home in Regina, SK.