Cypripedium reginae Walt.

showy lady's-slipper

Copyright: various copyright holders. To reuse an image, please click it to see who you will need to contact.

New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

Found this plant? Take a photo and post a sighting.

North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

enlarge

Facts About

Showy lady's-slipper is rare in four of the five New England states in which it occurs. It grows in fens and swamps dominated by northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis). There have been reports that a small European skipper (a non-native butterfly) becomes trapped in the labellum of this orchid, thus blocking it and preventing pollination by native bees. It is speculated that this may cause decline of the orchid by decreasing reproduction; however, this has not been confirmed.

Habitat

Fens, swamps, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

Characteristics

Habitat
wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Number of leaves on stem
  • five
  • four
  • six or more
  • three
Form of lower petal
the labellum has a pouch-like shape
Lower petal outline
the labellum is simple in form
Main color of lower petal
  • pink to red
  • white
Nectar spur
there are no nectar spurs on the flower
Inflorescence type
  • the inflorescence has only one flower or a pair of flowers on it
  • the inflorescence is a spike (a long unbranched stem with flowers along it that lack stalks)
Lower petal characteristics
  • the labellum is in the shape of a pouch
  • the labellum is simple in form
Lower petal length
25–53 mm
Sepal length
25–45 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Flower petal color
    white
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowering date
    • July
    • June
    Flowers per inflorescence
    1–4
    Form of lower petal
    the labellum has a pouch-like shape
    Hairs on inflorescence axis
    • NA
    • at least some of the hairs on the main stem of the inflorescence have glands
    • the main stem of the inflorescence has hairs entirely without glands
    Inflorescence type
    • the inflorescence has only one flower or a pair of flowers on it
    • the inflorescence is a spike (a long unbranched stem with flowers along it that lack stalks)
    Labellum position
    the labellum is in the lower position on the flower
    Length of narrowed base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lobes at base of lower petal
    0 mm
    Lower petal characteristics
    • the labellum is in the shape of a pouch
    • the labellum is simple in form
    Lower petal length
    25–53 mm
    Lower petal outline
    the labellum is simple in form
    Lower petal strongly red-veined
    no
    Main color of lower petal
    • pink to red
    • white
    Nectar spur
    there are no nectar spurs on the flower
    Nectar spur length
    0 mm
    Number of stamens
    2
    Orientation of side petals
    the lateral petals slant outward
    Pollen sacs
    NA
    Self-pollinating flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on this plant
    Sepal length
    25–45 mm
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are fused to each other (not other flower parts), at least near their bases
    Shape of viscidium
    NA
    Spots on lower petal
    no
    Spur opening membrane
    NA
    Spur opening shape
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Seed capsule orientation
    the capsule points upwards or is angled outwards
  • Growth form
    Plant green or not
    the plant is chlorophyllous (it has green parts)
    Roots
    the rhizomes do not resemble coral
    Underground organs
    • there are only slender roots on the plant
    • this plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Bract relative length
    • the bract is longer than the associated flower
    • the bract is shorter than the associated flower
    Features of leaves
    • the leaf does not have any of the mentioned special features
    • the leaf is pleated or folded back and forth along its length
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade edges
    the edges of the leaf blade have no teeth
    Leaf blade length
    100–270 mm
    Leaf blade length to width ratio
    1.7–2
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade width
    50–160 mm
    Leaves during flowering
    there are leaves on the plant when it is flowering
    Number of leaves on stem
    • five
    • four
    • six or more
    • three
  • Place
    Habitat
    wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • edges of wetlands
    • fens
    • swamps

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in wetlands, but occasionally in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACW)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Connecticut
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Maine
uncommon (S-rank: S3), special concern (code: SC)
Massachusetts
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
New Hampshire
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Vermont
uncommon (S-rank: S3)

Native to North America?

Yes

Synonyms

  • Cypripedium spectabile Salisb.

Family

Orchidaceae

Genus

Cypripedium

Need Help?

Get Help

Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

4.  Cypripedium reginae Walt. N

showy lady’s-slipper. Cypripedium spectabile Salisb. • CT, MA, ME, NH, VT. Fens, swamps dominated by Thuja occidentalis.