This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Venus'-slipper). Lady's Slipper. Moccasin-Flower. Orchiddceae. Attractive hardy orchids, often planted in moist cool borders, bogs, and sometimes in rock-gardens.
Stems very short, with a pair of leaves close to or near the ground, or long and leafy: leaves commonly many-nerved: flowers terminal, 1 to few, withering on the ovary; lateral sepals free, or united nearly or to the apex, the dorsal sepal erect; petals generally narrower, spreading; lip saccate, rarely split down the front; ovary 1-celled, with 3 parietal placentae. - Species. about 30, in the north temperate zone. For the greenhouse species formerly included here, see Paphiopedi-lum, and Phrag-mipedilum.
a. Leaves 2, opposite: lip split in front.
Ait. Leaves flat on the ground, ovate to oblong-oval: scape with 1 flower; upper sepal and petals brownish, lanceolate; labellum pink-purple, darker veined. May, June. Newfoundland to N. C, west to Ind., Mich, and Minn. A.G. 13:514; 14:405. Gng. 4:263. A.F. 11:1049. G.C. 111.46:209.
Thunb. Leaves above the ground roundish, undulately plicate: bract longer than the ovary: flower terminating the scape; sepals and petals lanceolate, acuminate, greenish, dotted with red; labellum white-pink. April, May. Japan. G.C.III. 33:355.
B. Lateral sepals free.
R. Br. Plant about 6 in. high, slender: leaves lanceolate: flowers small, resembling a ram's head, terminal, solitary; upper sepal ovate-lanceolate, brownish green; petals linear; labellum tapering at the apex, white veined with red-dish purple, clothed with white, woolly hairs near the aperture. May. Maine to N. Y., Mich, and Minn., and northward. B. M. 1569. L.B.C. 13:1240. F.S. 20: 2095.
bb. Lateral sepals united nearly or to the apex.
c. Flowers yellow. pubescens, Willd. Fig. 1196. Leaves oval, acute: petals usually twisted, much narrower than the ovate - lanceolate sepals; labellum pale yellow; staminodium triangular. Same range as the next. May, June. B.M. 911 (as C. parvi-florum). A.G. 13:513. Mn. 7, p. 5. G.C. III. 33:379; 47:369. - The rhizomes and rootlets are employed in medicine for their antispasmodic and nervine properties. Perhaps a form of the next.
Fig. 1196. Cypripedium pubescens. (X 1/2) aa. Leaves several, alternate: lip not split.
Salisb. Leaves ovate, acute: flowers smaller than in C. pubescens; labellum flattened from above and below, not laterally, bright yellow; staminodium triangular. May, June. Newfoundland to Ga., west to Minn, and E. Kans. A.G. 13:515. G.C. III. 46:227. -Same medicinal uses as C. pubescens.
cc. Flowers white or greenish. d. Number of flowers 1-8.
Muhl. Leaves oblong-lanceolate: flowers terminal, solitary; sepals broader than the petals, ovate-lanceolate; petals spreading like the sepals, greenish; labellum white, striped inside with purple; staminodium lanceolate. May, June. N. Y., Pa., Minn., Mo. and Ky.
Walt. Fig. 1197. Plants stout: leaves oval, acute: sepals ovate, rather roundish, white; petals oblong, white; labellum white or pale pink-purple; staminodium oval-cordate. June. Maine, W. New England to Minn, and Mo., Mts. of N. C. R.H. 1868: 410. Gn. 53, p. 77; 61, p. 191; 65, p. 447. R.B. 20, p. 198. A.F. 11:1048. Gng. 4:262, 327. G.C. III. 29:21; 47: 370; 50:315. Known also as C. hirsutum and C. spectabile.
Douglas. One to 2 ft., leafy, pubescent: leaves ovate to broad-lanceolate, 4-6 in. long: flowers 1-3, short-pedicelled, the wavy-twisted petals brownish, the inch-long lip dull white veined with purple: caps, erect or nearly so. Calif, to Wash. B.M. 7319. - Fragrant. Grows in clumps. Handsome.
Fig. 1197. Cypripcdium spectabile. (X 2/3) dd. Number of flowers 6-12.
Gray. Fig. 1198. Plants either slender or stout, varying in height, sometimes exceeding 2 ft.: leaves ovate-alternate: floral bracts very large, becoming narrowly ovate: flowers small, from 6-12 open at the same time, an inch or more apart on the stem; labellum whitish; sepals oval, yellowish green; petals narrowly oblong, colored like the sepals. Calif. B.M. 7188. G.F. 1:281 (adapted in Fig. 1198). G.C. III. 41:418; 46:211.
Fig. 1198. Cypripedium californicum. (X 1/3)
Flowers single; sepals and petals deep brown; lip yellow, slightly compressed. Eu. R.H. 1892, p. 392. R.B. 21, 210. G. C. III. 46:210. - C. debile, Reichb. f. Leaves 2, opposite: flowers small, the sepals and petals pale green with a dark brown basal blotch, sometimes brown-striped, the lateral sepals united; lip white, brown-streaked about the mouth. China and Japan. B.M. 8183. - C. elegans, Reichb. f. stems 4 in. tall: leaves opposite: flower single, the sepals and petals brown-veined, the lateral sepals united; lip brownish, corrugated. Thibet. - C. guttatum, Swartz. Leaves 2, alternate: flowers single, white, blotched with purple. N.E. Eu. to N.W. Amer. B.M. 7746. - C. himalaicum, Rolfe. stems up to a foot tall: leaves 3: sepals and petals brownish, deeper veined; lip brown-purple, many-nerved. Bhotan. - C. irapeanum, Llav. & Lex. Leaves ovate-lanceolate: flowers several, large, pale yellow, the large lip with some scarlet spots about the mouth. Mex. - C. macranthon, Swartz. Flowers purple, the lip contracted at the mouth. Siberia and N. Asia. R.H. 1877:310. B.M. 2938. G. C. III. 46:212. - C. speciosum, Rolfe. stem leafy: flowers whitish or flesh-colored, veined with rose; lip subglobose. Japan. B.M. 8386. - C. Thunbergii, Blume. Flowers pale purple.
G. C. III. 46:228. - C. tibeticum, King. Flowers 3-4 in. across; sepals and petals white, light yellow at apex, veined with maroon-purple; lip maroon-purple. E. Thibet and W. China. B.M. 8070. G. C. III. 39:347; 46:420; 49:403, 410. - C. ventricosum, Hort. Said to be a natural hybrid between C. Calceolus and C. macranthon. G.C.
IIL46:229- George V. Nash.