Family:     Orchidaceae (orchid family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     11 - 40 cm (4 - 16 in)

Blooming: April - June


Greater Yellow Lady's Slipper

Cypripedium parviflorum pubescens Muhl. ex Willd.

Stem: erect, stout, green, leafy, hairy.


Flowers: one to rarely two flowers for each plant.  The flower are yellow and hairy with an inflated labellum (a large petal that often forms a sort of lip) that looks like a small slipper.

Leaves: 3 to 5 alternately arranged leaves, clustered on the lower part of the stem.  They are widely elliptical as large as 21 cm (8 in) x 12 cm (5 in).  The leaves have no teeth and deeply veined.  They are hairy.

Fruit: a single, hairy capsule that turns from green to brown.

Habitat: drier  mesic to dry-mesic forests, hill prairies and sandy wetlands in slightly acidic to basic soils.



Bonap map - Cypripedium parviflorum

Consortium of Midwest Herbaria - Cypripedium parviflorum

Michigan Flora - Cypripedium parviflorum

Argue, C.L., 2011. The Pollination Biology of North American Orchids: Volume 1: North of Florida and Mexico (Vol. 1). Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 202.

cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens (1).JPG

Comments: Yellow lady's slipper orchids have a smell like a rose and the color of gold glowing through the vegetation.  There are three different varieties of yellow lady slippers in North America with two in the Northwest Indiana flora.  The one listed here is the larger, more variable greater yellow lady.  

It can hybridize with the small white lady's slipper forming Cypripedium x andrewsii which has been recorded and monitored in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Etymology: The genus, Cypripedium, is derived from two Greek words.  Cypris refers to the Greek goddess of love and beauty and pedis means foot or sandal.  Parviflorum is Latin for "tiny or small flower" and pubescens means "hairy". 

cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens (1).JPG

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Species Present and Native