Cypripedium candidum (WHITE LADY’S-SLIPPER)


Cypripedium candidum is known as the small white lady’s slipper or  prairie lady’s-slipper. It is said that this species grew by the millions in the tall grass prairies of the midwest, prior to European settlement. Today, most of the original prairies are gone, and so too, are the white lady’s-slippers. In 1927, Pepoon (Flora of the Chicago Region, 1927) wrote that the species was found in “wet swales,” “marsh borders,” “and other suitable localities.” A few decades later, Deam (Flora of Indiana, 1940) said the species was limited to “high springy places” like fens and other calcareous wetlands.

The white lady’s-slipper is diminutive, compared to it’s larger cousins, but no less captivating. If you have good, moist “prairie” soil with a relatively high pH (7+ is ideal), you may be able to accommodate it in your garden. Here at the nursery, we grow C. candidum in containers with a 4:1 mix of perlite and coconut coir, amended with oyster shells. This species will spread under ideal conditions.

SKU: SPV-CYPCAN Category: Tags: , ,


Height: 25–30 cm
Color: sepals greenish-yellow streaked with crimson-purple; lip white or white dotted with purple
Season: middle to late May and early June (Great Lakes region)
Habitat: calcareous springy places, including meadows, fens, marl bogs, swale margins
Exposure: needs bright, open aspect to thrive
Associates: Cacalia plantaginea (prairie Indian plantain), Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin (small yellow lady’s-slipper), Dasiphora fruticosa (shrubby cinquefoil), Smilacina stellata (starry false Solomon’s seal), Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern), Zizia aurea (golden Alexanders)

Additional information


near-blooming, blooming

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