Family:     Orchidaceae (orchid family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     11 - 40 cm (4 - 16 in)

Blooming: April - June


White Lady's Slipper Orchid

Cypripedium candidum Muhl. ex Willd.

Stem: erect, slender, short, green, leafy, hairy.


Flowers: a single flower (rarely two) for each plant.  The flower are white 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.  They are narrow with a max size of 20 cm (8 in) x 5 cm (2 in).  The leaves have no teeth and usually fold latitudinally.  They are hairy.

Fruit: a single, hairy capsule that turns from green to brown with a bract that hoods on it.

Sun: Full sun.

Habitat: mesic to wet prairies and open fen meadows.



Bonap map - Cypripedium candidum

Consortium of Midwest Herbaria - Cypripedium candidum

Michigan Flora - Cypripedium candidum

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 candidum pilla

Comments: White lady's slipper orchids are relatively small but a delightfully showy orchid. 

The white lady's slipper reproduces vegetatively and sexually.  As with pink lady's slipper orchids, pollinators sometimes hit the anther (getting the pollen on them) and then go deeper into the flower as to self-pollinate the plant.

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.  Candidum is Latin for "white". 

cypripedium candidum indiana dunes.jpg
cypripedium candidum

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Species Present and Native