Cypripedium passerinum (Franklin's / Sparrow's Egg Lady's Slipper) - photos and description








General: Erect plants, with leafy somewhat weak stems. Foliage pubescent.

Flowers: A single flower grows atop the plant’s stem. The orchid’s lower lip is an inflated pouch (a slipper), white with reddish-purple spots inside. Lateral petals shorter than the slipper, oblong shaped, semi-transparent. Sepals are green, dorsal (top) sepal arches over the slipper, nearly covering the slipper. Lateral sepals are joined at their base, grow under the slipper. I’ve measured its slippers at only 15 mm long. The flower is small and appears even smaller compared to the height of the plant, and size of the leaves.

Leaves: Leaves are alternate, oblanceolate to elliptical, clasp the stem, alternate, pointed at apex. We measured a leaf at 11 cm long and 3 cm wide.

Height: Height listed in Flora of Alberta to 25 cm, we've measured plants to 39 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist, mossy 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 June 22nd, June24th, and June 30th moist, mossy spruce woods, boreal forest, central Saskatchewan. The best time to find them flowering is usually late June / July 1st.