large yellow lady’s slipper

(Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens)

Conservation Status
large yellow lady’s slipper
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N4N5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACW - Facultative wetland


FACW - Facultative wetland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative


Large yellow lady’s slipper is a 7 to 26 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on one to several stems from a rhizome and fleshy, widely-spaced roots.

The stems are erect, round, stout, green, and densely hairy. The hairs on the stems and leaves cause dermatitis in some people.

There are 3 to 6 leaves on the flowering stem. The leaves may be crowded near the top of the stem or evenly spaced along the stem. They are alternate, erect to spreading, stalkless, and hairy. The leaf blades are broadly egg-shaped to elliptic lance-shaped, 3 to 8 long, and 1½ to 4 wide, twice as long as wide. They wrap around (sheath) the stem at the base and taper to a point at the tip. There are several prominent parallel veins arcing from the base to the tip. The veins are deeply impressed on the upper surface. The upper surface of the mature leaf blade is yellowish-green to dark green and hairless. The lower surface is similarly colored and is hairy along the main vines. The margins are untoothed and have a fringe of hairs.

The inflorescence is usually 1, sometimes 2, flowers at the end of the stem. The flowers appear between May 10 and July 10, with peak blooming time June 5 to June 20 in the north and May 20 to June 1 in the south. The flowers are held upright at the end of a hairy flower stalk. There is a single, 1½ to 4¾ long, modified leaf (bract) on the flower stalk just below the flower. The upper surface of the bract is densely covered with silvery hairs when young, becoming almost hairless with age.

The flower has 3 sepals and 3 petals. The upper sepal is egg lance-shaped, erect, wavy, somewhat twisted, and 1 to 2¾ long. It is yellowish green with reddish-brown streaks. The two lateral sepals are united for most of their length, divided at the tip, appearing to be a single sepal (synsepal). The synsepal droops downward below the lip and is similar in size and appearance to the upper sepal. The lateral petals are linear lance-shaped and 1¾ to 3¾ long. They are spreading to strongly drooping, usually spirally twisted or wavy, and similar in color to the sepals. The lower petal (lip) is inflated to form a large, showy, slipper-like pouch. The lip is to 2 long and yellow, with red spots near the opening and on the inside surface. The margins of the opening on the upper portion of the lip are rolled inward. As with almost all Orchidaceae, the filaments and style are united to form a column. There are 2 stamens, one on either side of the column, and an enlarged, triangular, yellow staminode at the tip of the column.

The fruit is an erect, ellipse-shaped, ribbed, 1¼to 1½ long capsule.




7 to 26


Flower Color




Similar Species

  Northern small yellow lady’s slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin) is usually a shorter plant with smaller leaves, sepals, petals, and lip. However, there is a continuous gradation in size and the sizes overlap. The sepals and lateral petals are darker, appearing mostly reddish-brown with yellowish-green streaks.  

Moderate moisture. Upland hardwood forests and roadside ditches. Moderate to deep shade. In the northwest, wet prairies and sedge meadows in full or partial sunlight.




May 10 to July 10




Distribution Map



3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 25, 28.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Liliopsida (monocots)  


Asparagales (agaves, orchids, irises, and allies)  


Orchidaceae (orchids)  
  Subfamily Cypripedioideae (slipper orchids)  


Cypripedium (hardy slipper orchids)  
  Subgenus Cypripedium  
  Section Cypripedium  
  Species Cypripedium parviflorum (yellow lady’s slipper)  



Cypripedium calceolus var. planipetalum

Cypripedium calceolus var. pubescens

Cypripedium flavescens

Cypripedium furcatum

Cypripedium parviflorum var. planipetalum

Cypripedium planipetalum

Cypripedium pubescens

Cypripedium pubescens var. pubescens

Cypripedium veganum


Common Names


greater yellow lady’s slipper

greater yellow lady’s-slipper

hairy ladyslipper

large yellow lady’s-slipper

yellow ladyslipper












Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.



The united filaments and style of an orchid. The structure formed by the united filaments of plants in the Mallow family.



On plants: The thread-like stalk of a stamen which supports the anther. On Lepidoptera: One of a pair of long, thin, fleshy extensions extending from the thorax, and sometimes also from the abdomen, of a caterpillar.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.



An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.



A floral structure formed by the partial or complete fusion of two or more sepals.

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Chris Coopman
  large yellow lady’s slipper    Photos


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  large yellow lady’s slipper   large yellow lady’s slipper


  large yellow lady’s slipper   large yellow lady’s slipper



Matt Lavin
  Cypripedium parviflorum
Joshua Mayer
  Cypripedium parviflorum  

Yellow Lady's-Slipper




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Other Videos
  OrchidWeb - Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens

Published on May 8, 2013

Order this plant today (if in stock):

Video narrated by Jerry Fischer.

  Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens Small Lady Slipper Orchid, Frauenschuh Orchidee
Robert Jondalar

Published on May 11, 2012

Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens Small Lady Slipper Orchid, Frauenschuh Orchidee with Aquilegia atrata and Cypripedium Philipp

  Greater Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum) Close-up
Carl Barrentine

Uploaded on Jun 17, 2010

Photographed at the Rydell NWR, Minnesota (16 June 2010).

  Yellow Lady Slipper Orchids [HD], Virginia, 5.03.2010

Uploaded on Sep 26, 2010

This beautiful patch of Lady Slipper orchids was found in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia. Video: Brian La Fountain




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Chris Coopman

Location: Mankato, MN

large yellow lady’s slipper





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