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Cypripedium reginae (Showy lady's slipper)
McAdoo, David R.

Cypripedium reginae

Cypripedium reginae Walter

Showy Lady's Slipper

Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)


USDA Symbol: CYRE6

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A stout, hairy, often twisted, leafy stalk bearing 1-3 large flowers with a white and pink, pouch-like lip petal.

This plant, the tallest and most beautiful of our northern native orchids, is especially common in the Great Lakes region. It has been overpicked and should be protected from further exploitation. Small White Lady's Slipper (C. candidum), a smaller plant, has a little flower with a white lip petal; it occurs in limestone soil and boggy places from Saskatchewan east to Ontario and New York, south to Virginia and Alabama, west to Missouri, and north to Nebraska and the Dakotas.


From the Image Gallery

15 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AL , AR , CT , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , SK
Native Distribution: Saskatchewan east to Newfoundland, south to North Carolina, west to Arkansas, and north to Minnesota and North Dakota.
Native Habitat: Swamps and moist woods, especially limestone sites.

Growing Conditions

Soil Moisture: Moist


Warning: The glandular hairs of the foliage may cause a rash similar to that caused by Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). POISONOUS PARTS: Glandular, irritating hairs on leaves. Symptoms include skin irritation after contact. Toxic Principle: Unidentified.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Cypripedium reginae in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cypripedium reginae in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cypripedium reginae


Record Modified: 2023-04-24
Research By: TWC Staff

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