Yellow Lady's Slipper

photo by USFWS CC BY

If you are fortunate enough to spot a wild orchid, it will probably be the Yellow Lady's Slipper, which grows in most parts of Canada and the United States. The plant has 1 to 2 flowers on a long stalk (8-30 in) and flowers in early summer.

The flower is made up of a shiny yellow open pouch (or slipper) with 3 twisted greenish-brown petals above it. There are often reddish-brown spots or light stripes inside the pouch. The plant has 3-6 leaves (up to 7 in long) with deep parallel veins. The leaves resemble those of Solomon's Seal and False Solomon's Seal, and it may be hard to tell them apart if the plant isn't flowering.

Yellow Lady's Slipper often grows in clumps and can be found in moist, partially shaded meadows, forests, and bogs.

Did you know? Don't pick or try to transplant Yellow Lady's Slipper as it is relatively rare, slow growing, and has very specific soil and habitat requirements.

See Also: Calypso Orchid