Tag Archives: lady’s-slipper

Small Yellow Lady’s-slipper


Sometimes the stars align. I was just thinking that I had not yet seen the Northern Small Yellow Lady’s-slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin) when I got an email from a friend who said some were blooming just across the road from his home not far from where I live. As soon as possible I headed out.

The Small Yellow Lady’s-slipper is very similar to the Large Yellow Lady’s-slipper. In fact some botanists claim there is only one species. On the other hand some believe that there is a third yellow species with fairly flat lateral sepals.  Don’t think these issues are not important to orchids nuts.  I am a member of Native Orchid Conservation Inc. an organization dedicated to the preservation of native orchids and other plants. a few years ago  a former President of our organization threatened to sue our current President at the time for denying in a radio interview that there was a 3rd species in. Most botanist disagreed asserting there are only 2 species, but our former President was passionate that there were 3. As a lawyer I am of course reluctant to say litigation is not a good thing, but this was pretty ridiculous. The orchid world is filled with fanatics. Thank goodness they rarely lead to jihads.

The Small Yellow Lady’s-slipper is smaller than the Large. That is why some say the smaller ones are just stunted large ones. The Small Yellow Lady’s-slipper also has darker petals and sepals as you can see from my photograph.

Prairie Gems: Northern small white lady’s-slipper


Yesterday, I found two of Manitoba’s lady’s-slippers. Last night I posted photos of the Large Yellow Lady’s-slipper. It is the most common of Manitoba’s lady’s-slippers. I also saw the most rare of our Lady’-slippers. The Northern small white lady’s-slipper (Cypripedium candidum), is usually found in moist prairies or ditches in different parts of southern Manitoba. I found these in the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve, one of my favorite places. They are very difficult to find, even when you know where to look because they are so low to the ground.

This orchid is in danger of extirpation. That means it could disappear from Canada. That would be a big loss. That is why they are listed under Canada’s Species at RiskActand Manitoba’s Endangered Species and Ecosystems Act.


These orchids are so rare because so much of the prairies have been converted to farms, homes and businesses. Added to that, too many people pick them (after all they are so beautiful) and they suffer from agricultural spraying and mowing. It seems strange but these flowers also miss prairie fires that used to help them against their competitive plants.

We need to work hard to save such beauties. I think its worth the effort. Don’t you?