This magnificent, fragrant Orchid has been considered the most beautiful of the Cypripediums and some enthusiasts have even thought that it should be crowned the queen of American wild flowers. It is a shy, chaste beauty, and keeps aloof, hidden in remote swamps and rich, low, mossy woods, where its incomparable charm and subtle grace regale the woods with their exquisite splendour. The common name should not be confused with that of the earlier-blooming Showy Orchis, which bears a spike of several flowers. The Showy Lady's Slipper raises its stout, leafy, and downy stalk a foot or two high, and may be found from June to September. The large, downy, wavy-edged, pointed oval leaves are alternating and clasping, and resemble the foliage of the False Hellebore. The large, white, balloon-like floral pouch is shaped something like an Indian moccasin, and is softly stained on the upper side with pinkish purple spots and stripes. The broad, spreading sepals and petals are pure white, and are flared with such a vigorous, animated gesture that one fancies that they are almost trying to speak. Usually one, and frequently two or three flowers hang from the summit of the stalk. The root is used as a nerve tonic, and the fine hairs with which the plant is covered yield a poisonous oil which sometimes irritates the skin. This species ranges from Nova Scotia to Ontario, and Minnesota, and south to Georgia.