Cypripedium arietinum (Ram's Head Lady's Slipper) - photos and description












General: Woodland orchid with slender, leafy stems. Stems downy hairy. The plant's small, reddish-brown flowers, and small height blend in to the forest floor, making the plant very difficult to spot.

Flowers: There’s a single flower per plant. The slipper is roughly triangular when viewed from the side, the tip projected towards the ground. I measured a slipper at 14 mm long, not big. The top of the slipper is covered in white hairs, the body of the slipper with reddish-brown veins. The lateral petals and sepals are green with reddish-purple veining. The lateral petals are thin, longer than the slipper, may be slightly curved or twisted. A large dorsal sepal covers the slipper, the two lateral sepals hang beneath the slipper. The lateral sepals are not fused together in this species like they are in all other SK's Lady’s Slippers.

Leaves: Leaves are alternate, elliptical, with noticeable parallel veining. Leaf highlighted in photo above was 6.5 cm long, and 2.5 cm wide.

Height: Height is listed in Budd's Flora to 40 cm, we've measured plants to 23 cm tall.

Habitat: Sandy, jack pine forest.

Abundance: Very rare, ranked as an S2 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Photos taken June 5th, 14th and 15th, jack pine forest, east central Saskatchewan.