Cypripedium acaule (PINK LADY’S-SLIPPER)


Pink lady’s slipper or moccasin flower grows throughout eastern North America, from the Canadian Maritimes to Alberta and south through the Great Lakes states and into Georgia and Alabama. It is a common wildflower in the Northeast, much less so in the western part of its range. It likes dappled shade and some protection from the wind. It is also called stemless lady’s slipper, as its flower stalk arises directly from a pair of basal leaves.

Most sources agree that soil moisture is not a limiting factor for this species. In the lower Great Lakes region, it grows almost exclusively in sphagnum bogs and tamarack swamps. In the New England states it is found most often in dry oak or pine woods. Once consistent requirement, however, is a very acidic soil—one in the range of 3.5 – 4.5 pH. If you have a woodland full of wild blueberries, wintergreen, and other acid-loving plants, you may be able to naturalize moccasin flower. Test your soil pH to be sure. If not, it can be grown in raised beds or even large containers. A 1:1 mix of peat moss and perlite is a good starting point. Irrigate only with rainwater (RO or distilled H2O are more expensive alternates) with 1 ounce white vinegar per gallon added for acidification.

SKU: SPV-CYPACA Category: Tags: , , ,


Height: 25–35 cm
Color: sepals and petals yellow-green to purplish brown; lip pale lavender-pink, crimson, or dark purplish pink, rarely pure white
Season: blooms May to late June (Great Lakes region)
Habitat: requires sterile acid soil, but will tolerate varied moisture regimes; dry oak and pine woods, acid sphagnum bogs
Exposure: shade or dappled shade
Associates: Acer rubrum (red maple), Rhus vernix (poison sumac), Vaccinium corymbosum (northern highbush blueberry), Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf), Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern), O. regalia (regal fern), Rhynchospora alba (white beak-sedge)

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