A short-stemmed plant with only two large, basal, elliptic leaves, 6 to 8 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide, thick and dark green. The single fragrant flower borne on a scape 6 to 15 inches high; sepals greenish purple, spreading, 1½ to 2 inches long, lanceolate, the two lateral ones united; petals narrower and somewhat longer than the sepals; lip a large, drooping, inflated sac with a closed fissure down its whole length in front, 1 ½ to 2 ¼ inches long, somewhat obovoid, pink with darker veins, rarely white, the upper part of the interior surface of the lip crested with long, white hairs. Fruit an ascending capsule, pointed at each end.
In sandy or rocky woods, Newfoundland to Manitoba, south to North Carolina, Tennessee and Minnesota. One of the few conspicuous wild flowers that appears to be equally at home in the pine lands of the northern coastal plain and the rocky woods of the central and northern part of the State. On Long Island it sometimes blooms in May but in the north it usually blooms in June.
Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum
Moccasin Flower; Stemless Lady S-Slipper - Fissipes acaulis
(Photograph by E. A. Eames)
Figure VI Moccasin Flower; Stemless Lady's-slipper (Fissipes acaulis (Aiton) Small)