This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Cypripedium Acaule. Two-Leaved Lady's Slipper.
Nectarium ventricosum, inflatum, cavum.
CYPRIPEDIUM acaule radicibus fibrosis, foliis oblongis radicalibus. Ait. Hort. Kew. V. 3. p. 303.
HELLEBORINE Calceolus dicta, mariana, foliis binis e radice ex adverso prodeuntibus, flore purpureo Pluk. Mant. 101; t. 418. f. 1.
CYPRIPEDIUM humile - Corolla labio superiore rhomboideo acuminato lateribus deflexo subtus carina angustissima obtusa, inferiore petalis longiore antice fisso. Transact. Linn. Soc. V. 1. p. 76. t. 3. f. 4.
We have not figured the present species of Cypripedium so much on account of its beauty as of its rarity, for it is far less handsome than any of the other species that we are acquainted with.
It is a native of different parts of North-America, and flowers with us in May.
There is little difficulty in distinguishing it from the other foreign species, it has rarely more than two radical leaves, a very short flowering stem compared with the others, a large nectary in proportion to its size, which in the specimens we have seen has been divided on its upper part, through its whole length, so as in fact to destroy in a great degree that shoe or slipper-like form, from which this genus has taken its name.
Like the rest of the family, it requires a little extraordinary care in its culture; its roots should be placed in a pot filled with loam and bog-earth, or rotten leaves, well mixed, and plunged in a north border, where in severe seasons it will be proper to shelter it; if the whole border be formed of the same soil or compost the pot will be less necessary.
Our drawing was made from a plant growing with Messrs. Grimwood and Co. Kensington.