Cypripedium acaule (Stemless / Pink Lady's Slipper) - photos and description





15 cm ruler




General: Small orchid with stout stems and two opposite, basal leaves. Stems pubescent.

Had to travel 650 km north of our home in Regina, SK, to photograph this plant - that's its southern most range in our province. I've seen them grwoing near La Ronge, Beauval, and points north.

Flowers: The plant has a single, large reddish-pink slipper growing atop a leafless flower stem. The slippers are large, I’ve measured a slipper at 4 cm long. The slipper has a cleft running vertically down its length, allowing pollinators to enter. The lateral petals are twisted, brown to greenish-brown in colour, are spread on either side of the slipper. The sepals are the same colour as the lateral petals. The dorsal sepal arches over the slipper, the two lateral sepals are merged together, growing beneath the slipper. A single, oval-shaped leafy bract grows overtop the dorsal sepal.

Leaves: Leaves basal, oval to elliptical, we measured a leaf at 12 cm long and 5 cm wide (pressed flat). Leaves pubescent.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 40 cm tall, I've measured them to 30 cm in height, more typically 15 to 25 cm tall.

Habitat: Rocky outcrops in jack pine woods.

Abundance: Common. However this is a species only of the northern boreal forest.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Above photos taken June 26th, jack pine woods, growing on rocky outcrops, La Ronge, 650 km north of our home in Regina, SK.