• Paphiopedilum, Parvisepalum group (Armeniacum, Delenatii, Emersonii, Malipoense, Micranthum) - species and hybrids
  • Phragmipedium, Cypripedium, Selenipedium and Mexipedium  - species and hybrids

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Showy lady's slipper
(Cypripedium reginae)
Genus: Cypripedium L., 1753

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Cypripedium is a genus of 58 species and nothospecies of hardy orchids; it is one of five genera that together compose the subfamily of lady's slipper orchids (Cypripedioideae). They are widespread across much of the Northern Hemisphere, including most of Europe (one species), Russia, China, Central Asia, Canada the United States, Mexico, and Central America.[1][2][3][4] They are most commonly known as slipper orchids or lady's slipper orchids; other common names include moccasin flower, camel's foot, squirrel foot, steeple cap, Venus' shoes, and whippoorwill shoe. An abbreviation used in trade journals is "Cyp." The word "Cypripedium" is derived from the Late Latin: Cypris, from Ancient Greek: Κυπρις (Kypris), an early reference in Greek myth to Aphrodite, and Greek: pedilon, meaning "sandal".[5]

Some species grow in the tundra in Alaska and Siberia, which is an unusually cold habitat for orchids. Other species occur well into tropical areas such as Honduras and Myanmar.[1]

Some of the northern species can withstand extreme cold, growing under the snow and blooming when the snow melts. But, in the wild, some have become rare and close to extinction, due to an ever shrinking natural habitat and over-collection, people prizing the flowers for their beauty. Several species are legally protected in some regions. In the late 20th century, only a single known plant of Cypripedium calceolus survived in Britain.



The genus has a long history of use, dating back 2,500 years to the Far East, where they were used medicinally. Several orchid species thought to be extinct in the United Kingdom including one native species in this genus have been found in habitat and are currently the subject of aggressive conservation efforts to protect and restore these showy plants to their native ranges.[6] 



As with most terrestrial orchids, the rhizome is short and robust, growing in the uppermost soil layer. The rhizome grows annually with a growth bud at one end and dies off at the other end. The stem grows from the bud at the tip of the rhizome. Most slipper orchids have an elongate erect stem, with leaves growing along its length. But the mocassin flower or pink lady's slipper (Cypripedium acaule) has a short underground stem with leaves springing from the soil. The often hairy leaves can vary from ovate to elliptic or lanceolate, folded along their length. The stems lack pseudobulbs.

The inflorescence is racemose. It can carry one to twelve flowers, as in Cypripedium californicum. But most species have one to three flowers. There are three sepals, with, in most species, the two lateral ones more or less fused. The flower has three acute petals with the third a striking slipper-shaped lip, which is lowermost. The sepals and the petals are usually similarly colored, with the lip in a different color. But variations on this theme occur. The aspect of the lip of different species can vary a great deal. As with all orchids, it is specially constructed to attract pollinators. The flowers show a column with a unique shield-like staminode. The ovary is 3-locular (with three chambers).



Comparison between a DNA-analysis and the morphological characteristics in this genus has shown that there is a high degree of divergence between the two, probably due to long periods of isolation or extinction of intermediate forms. The Eurasian species with yellow or red flowers form a distinct group from the North American species with yellow flowers. The Mexican Pelican Orchid (Cypripedium irapeanum) and the California lady's slipper (Cypripedium californicum) are probably the first diverging line. They share several similarities with their sister group Selenipedium.


Species and natural hybrids

There are 58 currently recognized species and nothospecies (naturally occurring hybrids) recognized in this genus, as of May 2014:[1] 

  1. Cypripedium acaule – Mocassin flower, Pink lady's slipper, Two-leaved lady's slipper (C. and E. Canada, NC & E U.S.A)
  2. Cypripedium × alaskanum – (C. guttatum × C. yatabeanum; Alaska)
  3. Cypripedium × andrewsii – (C. candidum × C. parviflorum var. pubescens) (E Canada, NC & NE U.S.A)
  4. Cypripedium arietinum – Ram's-head lady's slipper (C & E Canada, NC & NE U.S.A)
  5. Cypripedium bardolphianum – (China)
  6. Yellow lady's slipper

    (Cypripedium calceolus)

    Cypripedium calceolus – Yellow lady's slipper (Europe to Japan)
  7. Cypripedium calcicolum – (China)
  8. Cypripedium californicum – California lady's slipper (Oregon, N. California)
  9. Cypripedium candidum – Small White Lady Slipper (SE Canada, NC & E U.S.A)
  10. Cypripedium × catherinae – (C. macranthon × C. shanxiense; Russian Far East)
  11. Cypripedium × columbianum – (C. montanum × C. parviflorum var. pubescens; W Canada, NW U.S.A)
  12. Cypripedium cordigerum – Heart-Lip lady's slipper (N Pakistan to Himalaya, S Tibet)
  13. Cypripedium daweishanense (S.C.Chen & Z.J.Liu) S.C.Chen & Z.J.Liu (2005) – (Yunnan, China South-Central)
  14. Cypripedium debile – Frail lady's slipper (Japan, Taiwan, China)
  15. Cypripedium dickinsonianum – (Mexico (S Chiapas) to Guatemala)
  16. Cypripedium elegans – (E Nepal to China)
  17. Cypripedium fargesii – (China)
  18. Cypripedium farreri – (China)
  19. Cypripedium fasciculatum – Brownie lady's slipper, Clustered lady's slipper (W U.S.A)
  20. Cypripedium fasciolatum (China)
  21. Cypripedium flavum – Yellow lady's slipper (SE Tibet, SC China)
  22. Cypripedium formosanum – Formosa lady's slipper (C Taiwan)
  23. Cypripedium forrestii – (China)
  24. Cypripedium franchetii – Franchet's lady's slipper (C & SC China)
  25. Cypripedium froschii – (China)
  26. Cypripedium guttatum – Spotted lady's slipper (European Russia to Korea, Alaska to Yukon)
  27. Cypripedium henryi – Henry's lady's slipper (C China)
  28. Cypripedium x herae – (C.parviflorum x C.reginae) (Manitoba, Canada)
  29. Cypripedium himalaicum – (SE Tibet to Himalaya)
  30. Cypripedium irapeanum – Pelican Orchid, Irapeao lady's slipper (Mexico to Honduras)

    Showy lady's slipper

    (Cypripedium reginae)

    Cypripedium japonicum – Japan lady's slipper (China, Korea, Japan)
  32. Cypripedium kentuckiense – Kentucky lady's slipper, Southern lady's slipper (C & E U.S.A)
  33. Cypripedium lentiginosum – (China)
  34. Cypripedium lichiangense S.C.Chen & P.J.Cribb – (China (SW Sichuan, NW Yunnan), NE Myanmar)
  35. Cypripedium ludlowii – (SE Tibet)
  36. Cypripedium macranthos – Large-flowered lady's slipper (E Belarus to temperate E Asia)
  37. Cypripedium malipoense S.C.Chen & Z.J.Liu – (Yunnan, China South-Central)
  38. Cypripedium margaritaceum – Pearl-white lady's slipper (China)
  39. Cypripedium micranthum – (China)
  40. Cypripedium molle – (Mexico)
  41. Cypripedium montanum – Large lady's slipper, Mountain lady's slipper, White lady's slipper, Moccasin flower (Alaska to California)
  42. Cypripedium palangshanense – (China)
  43. Cypripedium parviflorum Salisb. – (Canada, E U.S.A)
  44. Cypripedium passerinum – Franklyn's lady's slipper, Small White Northern lady's slipper, Sparrow's Egg lady's slipper (Alaska to Canada, Montana)
  45. Cypripedium plectrochilum – (N Myanmar to SC China)
  46. Cypripedium reginae Walter – Large White lady's slipper, Queen's lady's slipper, Showy lady's slipper; C & E Canada, E. U.S.A)
  47. Cypripedium segawai – (EC Taiwan)
  48. Cypripedium shanxiense – (China to N Japan)
  49. Cypripedium sichuanense – (China)
  50. Cypripedium subtropicum – (SE. Tibet)
  51. Cypripedium taibaiense – (China)
  52. Cypripedium tibeticum – (Sikkim to C China)
  53. Cypripedium × ventricosum – (Russia to Korea)
  54. Cypripedium wardii – (SE. Tibet, China)
  55. Cypripedium × wenqingiae – (C. farreri × C. tibeticum; China)
  56. Cypripedium wumengense – (China)
  57. Cypripedium yatabeanum – (Russian Far East to N & NC Japan, Aleutian Islands to SW Alaska)
  58. Cypripedium yunnanense – (SE Tibet, China)



  • Phillip Cribb & Peter Green (1997). The Genus Cypripedium (a botanical monograph). Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Timber Press ISBN 0-88192-403-2
  • Pridgeon, A.M.; Cribb, P.J.; Chase, M.W. & F. N. Rasmussen (1999): Genera Orchidacearum Vol.1, page: 114 ff., Oxford U. Press. ISBN 0-19-850513-2

External links




Paphiopedilum henryanum
Genus: Paphiopedilum Pfitzer
Paphiopedilum distribution map.png
  • Cordula Raf.
  • Menephora Raf.
  • Stimegas Raf.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Paphiopedilum, often called the Venus slipper, is a genus of the Lady slipper orchid subfamily Cypripedioideae of the flowering plant family Orchidaceae. The genus comprises some 80 accepted taxa including several natural hybrids. The genus is native to Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, southern China, New Guinea and the Solomon and Bismarck Islands.[1][2][3]

The species and their hybrids are extensively cultivated, and are known as either paphiopedilums, or by the abbreviation paphs in horticulture.

The type species of this genus is Paphiopedilum insigne.



Paphiopedilum species naturally occur among humus layers as terrestrials on the forest floor, while a few are true epiphytes and some are lithophytes. These sympodial orchids lack pseudobulbs. Instead, they grow robust shoots, each with several leaves; some are hemicryptophytes. The leaves can be short and rounded or long and narrow, and typically have a mottled pattern. When older shoots die, newer ones take over. Each new shoot only blooms once when it is fully grown, producing a raceme between the fleshy, succulent leaves. The roots are thick and fleshy. Potted plants form a tight lump of roots that, when untangled, can be up to 1 m long.

Members of this genus are considered highly collectible by orchid fanciers due to the curious and unusual form of their flowers. Along with Cypripedium, Mexipedium, Phragmipedium and Selenipedium, the genus is a member of the subfamily Cypripedioideae, commonly referred to as the "lady's-slippers" or "slipper orchids" due to the unusual shape of the pouch-like labellum of the flower. The pouch traps insects seeking nectar, and to leave again they have to climb up past the staminode, behind which they collect or deposit pollinia. The orchid, despite several attempts to clone by tissue culture, has never been successfully cloned, for unknown reasons. This means every plant is unique.

Members of this genus have unusual stomata. Whereas most land plants' stomata have guard cells with chloroplasts in their cytoplasm (including those of closely related Phragmipedium slipper orchids), Paphiopedilum stomata do not. This difference results in simpler, but weaker control of stomatal function.[4] For example, most plants close their stomata in response to either blue or red light, but Paphiopedilum guard cells only respond to blue light.[5] The fact that they lack chloroplasts has made them valuable to researchers investigating stomatal function. For example, it enabled the discovery of intracellular events that precede stomatal closure.[6]


In horticulture

One of the "Miya" hybrid Paphiopedilum cultivars bred by T. Ozawa

The paphiopedilums are among the most widely cultivated and hybridized of orchid genera. Spectacular new species are being discovered every now and then; for example the Golden Slipper Orchid (P. armeniacum), discovered in 1979 and described in 1982, amazed growers of orchids by the extraordinary beauty of its golden flowers. In addition, growers have bred thousands of interspecific hybrids and registered them with the Royal Horticultural Society in London over the years.

These orchids are relatively easy to grow indoors, as long as conditions that mimic their natural habitats are created. Most species thrive in moderate to high humidity (50-70%), moderate temperatures ranging from 13 to 35 degrees Celsius and low light of 12,000 to 20,000 lux. Modern hybrids are typically easier to grow in artificial conditions than their parent species.


Taxonomy and systematics

The genus name Paphiopedilum was established by Ernst Hugo Heinrich Pfitzer in 1886; it is derived from Paphos (a city in Cyprus, a place sacred to Aphrodite. It was said she landed at the site when rose from the sea as her birth.) and Ancient Greek pedilon "slipper". Ironically, no paphiopedilum occurs on Cyprus – at least not as the genus is understood today. But it was long mixed up with its Holarctic relative Cypripedium, which indeed grows in the Mediterranean region. Paphiopedilum was finally decided to be a valid taxon in 1959, but its use has become restricted to eastern Asian species in our time.



The genus Paphiopedilum has been divided into several subgenera, and then further into sections and subsections:

  • Subgenus Parvisepalum
  • Subgenus Brachypetalum
  • Subgenus Polyantha[verification needed]
    • Section Mastigopetalum
    • Section Polyantha
    • Section Mystropetalum
    • Section Stictopetalum
    • Section Paphiopedilum
    • Section Ceratopetalum
    • Section Cymatopetalum
    • Section Thiopetalum
  • Subgenus Sigmatopetalum
    • Section Spathopetalum
      • Subsection Macronidium
      • Subsection Spathopetalum
    • Section Blepharopetalum
    • Section Mastersianum
    • Section Punctatum
    • Section Barbata
      • Subsection Lorapetalum
      • Subsection Chloroneura
    • Section Planipetalum
    • Section Venustum
  • Subgenus Cochlopetalum


Selected species

There are more than 550 taxa in this genus, including some 80 valid species. Some notable species and their natural hybrids are listed here, together with some assorted varieties and forms:


Click here for a select list of Paphiopedilum select species. 



See also


  1. Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. Koopowitz, H. (2012). An updated, annotated checklist of the genus Paphiopedilum. Orchid Digest 76: 178-215.
  3. Leong, K.F. (2013). Flora of Peninsular Malaysia - Cypripedioideae. Malesian Orchid Journal 12: 117-131.
  4. Assmann, Sarah M.; Zeiger, Eduardo (1985). "Stomatal responses to CO2 in Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium". Plant Physiology 77: 461. doi:10.1104/pp.77.2.461.
  5. Zeiger, E.; Assmann, S. M.; Meidner, H. (1983). "Photobiology of Paphiopedilum stomata: Opening under blue light but not red". Photochemistry and Photobiology 38 (5): 627. doi:10.1111/j.1751-1097.1983.tb03394.x.
  6. Irving, Helen R.; Gehring, Christoph A.; Parish, Roger W. (1992). "Changes in cytosolic pH and calcium of guard cells precede stomatal movements". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 89: 1790. doi:10.1073/pnas.89.5.1790.
  • Braem, G.J.; Baker, Charles O. & Baker, Margaret L. (1998): The Genus Paphiopedilum: Natural History and Cultivation (Vol. 1). Botanical Publishers Inc., Kissimmee, Florida, USA.
  • Leroy-Terquem, Gerald & Parisot, Jean (1991): Orchids: Care and Cultivation. Cassel Publishers Ltd., London, UK.
  • Pridgeon, A.M.; Cribb, P.J.; Chase, M.W. & Rasmussen, F.N. (1999): Genera Orchidacearum (Vol.1). Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 0-19-850513-2
  • Schoser, Gustav (1993): Orchid Growing Basics. Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., New York City, New York, USA.
  • White, Judy (1996): Taylor's Guide to Orchids. Houghton-Mifflin, New York City, New York, USA.

External links




Phragmipedium warscewiczianum



Phragmipedium Rolfe, 1896


  • Uropedium Lindl.
  • Phragmipedilum Rolfe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Phragmipedium is a genus of the Orchid family (Orchidaceae) (Subfamily Cypripedioideae) and the only genus comprised in the tribe Phragmipedieae and subtribe Phragmipediinae. The name of the genus is derived from the Greek phragma, which means "division", and pedium, which means "slipper" (referring to the pouch). It is abbreviated 'Phrag' in trade journals. [clarification needed]

About 20 species of these lady's slipper orchids are known from SW Mexico, Central and tropical South America.[1]

All members of the genus Phragmipedium are listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).



The genus Phragmipedium is divided into several sections :

  • Phragmipedium : P. caudatum, P. exstaminodium, P. lindenii
  • Himantopetalum : P. caricinum, P. christiansenianum, P. pearcei, P. klotzscheanum, P. richteri, P. tetzlaffianum.
  • Platypetalum : P. lindleyanum
  • Lorifolia : P. boissierianum, P. hirtzii, P. longifolium, P. vittatum
  • Micropetalum : P. besseae, P. besseae var. dalessandroi, P. fischeri, P. kovachii, P. schlimii.
  • Schluckebieria : P. kovachii

The exact number of species is still being discussed among specialists : O. Gruss recognizes 20 species, compared to the 15 species accepted by Lucile M. McCook (see References).

Most Phragmipedium species are either terrestrial, epiphytic or lithophytic in habit. They show a unique shieldlike staminode, long, moustache-like petals and a 3-locular ovary. The large pouchlike lip is curved inwards at the margins. The acute leaves attain a length of about 80 cm. The stem lacks pseudobulbs and grows about 80 cm high, showing 2 to 3 flowers.

Phragmipedium besseae was first found in Peru by Elizabeth Locke Besse in 1981. Soon afterwards, the site was plundered and destroyed by orchid hunters. Luckily enough seed was preserved, to avert extinction. This orchid is unusual, because its flowers have a bright orange-red to almost strong salmon-red color (there is also a yellow variety), unseen in any lady's slipper orchid. The oval-shaped petals are wide. The narrow leaves are elliptic in shape. It has since been used extensively in hybridization.

Phragmipedium caudatum is considered a complex, i.e. it could contain several species or subspecies, based on differences in flower size and color. This orchid with a short stem is semi-terrestrial, semi-lithophytic to epiphytic, depending on the substrate . The cream-colored flowers are laced with greenish stripes. The lateral spiraling, drooping petals are red-tinted and very long, even reaching the soil. They grow on wet, moss-covered hillsides.

Phragmipedium lindleyanum, named after John Lindley, forms a rosette of five long linear leaves with a yellow margin, reaching a length of 50 cm. The erect raceme can grow as high as 1 m. It is many-flowered and sometimes branched at the basis. The flowers open in succession, giving the orchid a long blooming period. The hoary flowers are green with brown veins. The glabrous, pouchlike lip is yellow, with red veins.

Phragmipedium longifolium, described in 1852 by H.G. Reichenbach f. and J. v. Warscewicz, has long laceolate leaves without yellow margin, growing to a length of 60 cm. The inflorescence reaches a length of 1 m, with about 10 flowers, opening in succession. The long lateral petals are purplish green. The rather small glabrous labellum has a green color.

Allied genera include Paphiopedilum, Selenipedium, Cypripedium and the monotypic Mexipedium.

There are many interspecific hybrids. Rare crossings have been made between Phragmipedium and Paphiopedilum.



The genus Uropedium Lindl. is generally included in Phragmipedium.




  • Albert, V.Z. & B.Pettersson, Expansion of Genus Paphiopedilum Pfitzer to Include All Conduplicate-leaved Slipper Orchids (Cypripedioideae: Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 9(2) 133-139 (1994).
  • McCook, L. An Annotated Checklist of the Genus Phragmipedium - 28 p. - Special Publication of the Orchid Digest (1998).
  • Gruss, O. 2003. A checklist of the genus Phragmipedium. Orchid Digest 67: 213-241.
  • Braem, G. J., Ohlund, S., and Quene, R. J. 2004. The real Phragmipedium warszewiczianum: a clarification of the Phragmipedium caudatum complex (Phragmipedium section Phragmipedium). Orquideologia 23(2): 87-136
  • Pridgeon, A.M.; Cribb, P.J.; Chase, M.W. & F. N. Rasmussen (1999): Genera Orchidacearum Vol.1, Oxford U. Press. ISBN 0-19-850513-2



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