Cypripedium reginae (Showy Lady's Slipper) - photos and description










General: Upright plants with, stout stems. Foliage pubescent.

Flowers: I always thought its flowers were solitary, but apparently some plants can have two flowers growing opposite one another on the top of the plant’s stem. Flowers very large, I’ve measured the slipper up to 45 mm long. The slipper varies in colour from light pink to deep rose. The lateral petals and sepals are snowy white, the lateral petals are shorter than the slipper and are not twisted. The dorsal sepal is large, and arches over the slipper. The two lateral sepals are united together under the slipper.

Leaves: Large pleated leaves, oval to elliptical in shape, clasp the stem, alternate. Leaf highlighted in above photo was 16 cm long and 8.5 cm wide.

Height: Listed in Budd's Flora to 60 cm tall. We measured plants to 65 cm in height.

Habitat: Historical records are from wet forests and bogs in east central Saskatchewan, along the Manitoba border.

Abundance: Extremely rare in Saskatchewan, ranked as an S1 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre. This plant might be extirpated from the province.

Update (summer of 2020): a botanist found a few plants in the Creighton district of Saskatchewan. This is in the northern boreal forest, 7 hours northeast of Regina. First time the plant has been found in SK in 30 years.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Photos taken June 24th, wet, mossy, open spruce woods, just across the Manitoba border, boreal forest 450 km north east of our home in Regina, SK.