Ladyslipper. (1) Cypripedium pubescens Willd.; (2) C. parviflorum Salisb.

Figure 71.—Common yellow ladyslipper (Cypripedium pubescens)

Other Common Names

(1) Common yellow ladyslipper, large yellow ladyslipper, yellow ladyslipper, yellow moccasin flower, Venus's-shoe, Venus's-cup, yellow Indian shoe, American valerian, nerveroot, male nervine, yellow Noah's-ark, yellows, monkeyflower, umbil-root, yellow umbil; (2) small yellow ladyslipper.

Habitat And Range

Both of these species frequent bogs and wet places in deep shady woods and thickets. The large yellow ladyslipper may be found from Nova Scotia south to Alabama and west to Nebraska and Missouri. The range for the small yellow ladyslipper extends from Newfoundland south along the mountains to Georgia and west to Missouri, Washington, and British Columbia.

Description

These plants are readily recognized by the peculiar shape of their flowers. These appear in May and June, are very showy, and have a curiously formed lip which resembles an inflated bag, pale or bright yellow in color, variously striped or blotched with purple. In Cypripedium pubescens this lip is 1 to 2 inches in length, while in C. parviflorum it is smaller and somewhat more prominently striped. Both species grow from 1 to 2 feet in height and have rather large leaves from 2 to 6 inches long and from 1 to 3 inches wide, with numerous parallel veins. The rootstock is horizontal, crooked, and fleshy with numerous fibrous roots. It has a heavy disagreeable odor and a sweetish, bitter, and somewhat pungent taste.

Part Used

The rootstock and roots, collected in autumn.