Wildflowers of the United States

Home Journal Family Index - All States Photo Albums News About Privacy

Pink Ladyslipper, Moccasin Flower - Cypripedium acaule


Family: Orchidaceae - Orchid family Genus Common Name: Ladyslipper Native Status: NativeMonocot Perennial Herb
Cypripedium acaule - Pink Ladyslipper, Moccasin Flower . This member of the orchid family has a solitary blossom on a hairy stem arising from two or sometimes three elliptical glossy, dark green, ribbed, hairy basal leaves. The "acaule" species epithet refers to the fact that there are no stem leaves - all other Ladyslipper species have stem - cauline - leaves.

Journal Articles Referencing Ladyslipper

Leave comments on Cypripedium acaule at this link.

Check here for more information about Cypripedium acaule.
Cypripedium acaule

Distribution of Cypripedium acaule in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 27 Jul 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Search Our Database: Enter any portion of the Scientific, Common Name, or both.
Scientific name:
Common name:

Example: Enter "lob" in the common name field and you'll get all our species that have "lobelia" in the common name, as well as "sharp-lobed hepatica".

Do a general Google search of the entire site:



Follow on Twitter
Follow USWildflowers on Twitter










Site: Big Frog Trail, Polk County, TN Date: 2004-May-08Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Cypripedium acaule is an orchid whose showy pink blossom tops a stem that rises from the plant's basal leaves.
Cypripedium acaule

Site: Big Frog Trail, Polk County, TN Date: 2009-May-09Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
1/40f/11 ISO200
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
90mm (135 equiv) Flash: Yes
Pink Ladyslipper has a hairy flower stalk topped by the showy blossom. The upper lateral petals are yellow- to purple-brown, and the lower petal forms a pink pocket that gives the ladyslipper its common names.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Cypripedium acaule

Site: Pigeon Mountain - Rocky Lane, Walker County, Ga Date: 2011-April-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D40
Bees are attracted to the aroma of the ladyslipper, and enter through a slit in the front of the swollen lower petal (the "slipper.") The slit closes behind them and they can't exit back out the way they came, and are forced to climb up past the pollen-laden stamens to exit through the hole at the top. The bee must pass under the stigma on its way out, depositing pollen from another plant if this isn't the first one they've visited.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Cypripedium acaule

Site: Pigeon Mountain - Rocky Lane, Walker County, Ga Date: 2014-May-02Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
About 1 in 10 Cypripedium acaule plants in a population will be pollinated successfully and develop seeds. The fruit, shown here as a leftover from last seaon, contains thousands of miniscule seeds, but the seeds do not hold any food reserves. Germination and plant growth requires that they land on soil containing a specific fungus that provides the necessary nutrients.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Cypripedium acaule

Site: Pigeon Mountain - Rocky Lane, Walker County, Ga Date: 2013-May-02Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
New Cypripedium acaule blossom along with last years fruit capsule (seed pod.) The seed pod is the culmination of many years of maturing of the plant, which can live for twenty years. Germination of the seeds results from a symbiotic relationship with a Rhizoctonia fungus, which breaks open the seed and provides nutrients to the seed. As the plant matures and producing its own nutrients, the fungus received nutrients from the Cypripedium acaule plant roots.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Cypripedium acaule

Site: Chattahoochee National Forest, White County, Ga Date: 2011-May-02Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
White moth (perhaps a Spilosoma species) on a Pink Ladyslipper.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Cypripedium acaule

Site: Pigeon Mountain - Rocky Lane, Walker County, Ga Date: 2011-April-19Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Cypripedium acaule lip (slipper / pouch) color ranges from magenta to much paler pinks and on relatively rare occasions, to white.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Cypripedium acaule

References used for identification and information:

Commercial / Cookie Notice

Looking for Wildflowers for a specific state? Check here:



All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer