Information on Lady Slippers
Lady slipper orchids (Cypripedioideae) are a family of perennial orchids that have slipper-shaped, hollow flowers and bloom in the spring. Many species, such as the small, white lady’s slipper, are considered rare.
- Lady slipper orchids grow throughout Europe, Asia and North America. They can also survive the extreme cold temperatures of Alaska. Commonly found in bogs, swamps and meadows, they prefer bright, indirect light and moist, well-drained soils.
- Lady slippers can reach heights up to 16 inches. The flower pouch is 2 inches long and grows on a leafless stem, while the leaves are 4 to 9 inches long.
- Lady slippers can live up to 20 years in their natural habitat. Some plants can take up to 13 years before they will ever bloom. The plants are difficult to transplant and require fungus to spread their seeds. Digging or picking the orchids on federal land is illegal because they rarely survive being transplanted from their original habitat.