Stem. - About two feet high, downy, leafy to the top, one to three-flowered. Leaves. - Alternate, broadly oval, many-nerved and plaited. Flowers. - Large, yellow. Perianth. - Two of the three brownish, elongated sepals united into one under the lip; the lateral petals linear, wavy-twisted, brownish; the pale yellow lip an inflated pouch. Stamens. - Two, the short filaments of each bearing a two-celled anther. Stigma. - Broad, obscurely three-lobed, moist and roughish.
The yellow lady's slipper usually blossoms in May or June, a few days later than its pink sister, C. acaule. Regarding its favorite haunts, Mr. Baldwin* says: "Its preference is for maples, beeches, and particularly butternuts, and for sloping or hilly ground, and I always look with glad suspicion at a knoll covered with ferns, cohoshes, and trilliums, expecting to see a clump of this plant among them. Its sentinel-like habit of choosing 'sightly places' leads it to venture well up on mountain sides."
The long, wavy, brownish petals give the flower an alert, startled look when surprised in its lonely hiding-places.
C. parviflorum, the small yellow lady's slipper, differs from
C. pubescens in the superior richness of its color as well as in its size. It also has the charm of fragrance.
* Orchids of New England. 124
Plate XL. Smaller Yellow Lady's Slipper. - C. parviflorum