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.

Leave a Reply