Calypso bulbosa (L.) Oakes
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)
USDA Symbol: CABU
Calypso bulbosa is chlorophyllous but also hemi-mycoheterotrophic; that is, it makes it own food, but also utilizes at least one fungus species to provide some of its carbon intake. The known fungi involved is Thanatephorus ochraceus, a saprotroph.
A single mostly pink bilateral pendant flower with an inflated, slipper-like lip petal hangs at tip of an erect, reddish flower stalk that grows above 1 basal leaf.
This short perennial rises from a small tuber and is the only species in this genus. Named for the sea nymph Calypso of Homer's Odyssey, who detained the willing Odysseus on his return from Troy; like Calypso, the plant is beautiful and prefers secluded haunts.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , ME , MI , MN , MT , NH , NM , NY , OR , SD , UT , VT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: NB , NL , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Across Canada and northern United States to northeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, New York, and New England.
Native Habitat: Thick duff and mossy ground in cool, damp, mainly coniferous woods.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Calypso bulbosa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Calypso bulbosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Calypso bulbosa
MetadataRecord Modified: 2016-03-04
Research By: TWC Staff