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. There is debate as to whether this clump is native or introduced, is listed as introduced by Dr. Harms in Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan.

Flowers: Flowers 1 to 3 per flowering stem, having white slippers with purple veins inside, very showy lateral petals brownish-green and twisted, sepals brownish-green. Flowers fragrant. Slipper measured to 3 cm long.

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.