LARGE YELLOW LADY’S-SLIPPER
Large Yellow Lady’s-Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens) is a stately wildflower and among the most familiar of the North American-native Cypripediums. It is cosmopolitan in its habitat preferences and generally easy to cultivate in the home garden.
Large yellow lady’s-slipper can be variable in habit depending on conditions. It grows 18-30″ in height and forms a multi-stemmed clump over time. The slipper is a soft yellow and the petals and sepals are greenish-yellow, streaked with brown, and twisted. In the lower Great Lakes region it usually blooms in late May or early June.
Large yellow lady’s-slipper is assigned a wetland classification of FAC+, this means it grows in both wetlands and uplands. It is cosmopolitan in habitat, growing in the deep humus or leaf litter of shady woods as well as swamp and stream edges, bogs, lake shores and fens. It is much more common in limestone areas and rare in unglaciated areas of its range.
From the Greek Kypris, the goddess of love and beauty, and podion, for little foot or slipper. parviflorum is Latin for “small flowers” and pubescens meaning covered in soft down or hairs.
Large yellow lady’s-slipper occurs from the eastern United States and Canada west to the Rocky Mountains north to Yukon and Alaska. In the US, it is much more common east of the Mississippi.
Many, but some that have been noted locally include Acer rubrum (red maple), Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit), Osmuda spectabilis (royal fern), Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry), Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen), Smilacina sp. (false Solomon’s seal), Geranium maculatum (wild Geranium), Hamamelis virginiana (Virginia witch hazel), Podophyllum peltatum (Mayflower), Viburnum acerifoliumM (maple-leaved Viburnum).