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Lovely Ladies

Posted by plantfreak z9aKyushuJapan (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 7, 05 at 8:29

Heres some lovely "ladies" Im growing. First is Cypripedium macranthos alba. Normally these range from pale pink to deep magenta. This species is found from northern China and Japan, thoughout Siberia, and eastward as far as the Ural Mountains. This ones a pure white form:

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This is the natural cross between C. macanthos and C. calceolus, C. x ventricosum. Often these are a mix of various shades of pink and purple. Again, this ones almost pure white. Found in northern China, North Korea, and Russia:

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Heres a Taiwan endemic, C. formosanum. This is perhaps the easiest to grow of the Cyps. It is becoming quite rare in the wild however and is restricted to the mountains of Taiwan only. Sometimes it is considered a variety of its near relative, C. japonicum:

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Finally, an artificial hybrid between the Chinese C. flavum and the American C. reginae, C. x Ulla Silkens. While the C. reginae colors are dominant, the back flare of the petals is a classic C. flavum trait:

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I hope you enjoy the shots. These jewels are some of my favorite plants. PF

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Lovely Ladies

They're all really beautiful.

RE: Lovely Ladies

Most excellent shots! Enjoyed viewing these beauties! Thanks!


RE: Lovely Ladies

Exquisite photos!

RE: Lovely Ladies

Beautiful! Are these called Ladies slipper or something to that order? I saw a post here with a flower very simular. Is this a house plant? If so can it be grown here on Long Island. SOrry for so many ? I really love this plant! :)

RE: Lovely Ladies

Gorgeous blossoms. I love these little flowers.

Great photography also.


RE: Lovely Ladies

Thanks for the kind comments everyone.


These are commonly called ladyslippers, slipper orchids, cyps, and moccasin flowers. To answer your questions: no, not a house plant and yes they can be grown on Long Island, NY. Let me give a brief view of this genus.

Only around 45 or so known species occur thoughout the northern hemisphere from cold temperate to cool temperate climates (a couple live in almost arctic conditions). So, in summer they enjoy cool soil temperatures (<72F) and bright shade. These are largely woodland plants, but will languish in deep shade preferring bright shade and even some morning sun. Soil type is hard to generalize about, but all like continuous moisture but perfect drainage as well. Most species prefer soil in the neutral range, say pH 6.0-7.0. The organic part of the medium should be less than 50% with the bulk of it composed of porous, inorganic particles such as perlite, pumice, and the like. Each species has its own preferences and needs. These are not easy plants to grow, and they are also not impossible to grow.

My suggestion is to start with C. parviflorum v. pubescens (AKA C. pubescens). This is about as easy as they get. You can simply dig a hole in your yard anywhere there is bright shade and plant it provided the soil is well drained and of reasonable quality (say the soil a hosta can grow in well). Each spring the plant will give you a nice show for about 2-3 weeks and then you have to wait another year for more flowers. Patience is needed with these beauties.

Heres some links for you all:

First, the culture of these plants.

Cyp Culture 1

Cyp Culture 2

Now some sources for them. These are all good nurseries that sell only laboratory grown plants or divisions of mature plants, not wild collected stuff. Please note that many Cyps are sold every year that are wild collected and mostly destined to perish. If you see a really good deal on these, it always means it was wild collected. Expect to pay $30 or more for a lab plant that is flowering size:

Vermont Ladyslipper Co

Hillside Nursery

Roberts Flower Supply

Finally, if you have any questions about your plants and cultivating them, heres a forum specializing in these you can post messages to. Its been pretty dead there lately, but if you post an intelligent question, someone usually will answer you:

Cyp Forum


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