This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
[Calypso Salisb. Par. Lond. pl. 89. 1807. Not Thouars. 1805.]
Bog herb, with a solid bulb and coralloid roots, the low 1-flowered scape sheathed by 2 or 3 loose scales and a solitary petioled leaf at the base. Flower large, showy, terminal, bracted. Sepals and petals similar, nearly equal. Lip large, saccate or swollen, 2-parted below. Column dilated, petal-like, bearing the lid-like anther just below the summit. Pol-linia 2, waxy, each 2-parted, without caudicles, sessile on a thick gland, the stigma at the base. [Surname of Venus.]
A monotypic species of the cooler portions of the north temperate zone.
Bulb 5" in diameter or less. Scape 3'-6' high; leaf round-ovate, 1-1 1/2 long, nearly as wide, obtusely pointed at the apex, rounded or subcordate at the base, the petiole l'-2' long; flowers variegated, purple, pink and yellow, the peduncle jointed; petals and sepals linear, erect or spreading, 5"-7" long with 3 longitudinal purple lines; lip large, saccate, 2-divided below, spreading or drooping, with a patch of yellow woolly hairs; column erect, broadly ovate, shorter than the petals; capsule about 1/2 long, many-nerved.
Labrador to Alaska, south to Maine, Michigan, California, and in the Rocky Mountains to Arizona. Also in Europe. Flower somewhat resembling that of a small Cypripedium. May-June.