Cypripedium montanum (Mountain Lady's Slipper) - photos and description






General: A tall species of Cypripedium, and the only species of the genus found in the province having more than 1 flower per flowering stem. Could be considered the rarest plant species in Saskatchewan; to my knowledge grows 'wild' here only in 1 clump in the Cypress Hills.

Flowers: The slipper is white with purple lines inside. The petals and sepals are mostly dark brown with some green colouring. The lateral petals are twisted and grow longer than the slipper. The dorsal sepal arches over the slipper, the lateral sepals are united together and grow under the slipper.  The slippers are large, I measured one at 3 cm long. Flowers fragrant.

Leaves: Leaves alternate, sessile, ovate. Leaf highlighted in photo above was 13 cm long and 7 cm wide. Top of leaves glabrous, bottom of leaves glandular hairy.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora from 20 to 50 cm, I measured plants to 60 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist coniferous woods.

Abundance: Extremely rare, ranked as an S1 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken July 3rd, lodgepole pine forest, Cypress Hills, about 450 km southwest of our home in Regina, SK.