Cypripedium parviflorum (Yellow Lady’s Slipper)

A fresh Cypripedium parviflorum photographed in late May in St. Francois County, Missouri.

May was definitely a lady’s slippers month. My friends and I found four species within a week (three in MO, 1 in AR). Of the three species found in Missouri, two are species of conservation concern within the state – Cypripedium candidum, small white lady-slipper (S1) and C. reginae, showy lady-slipper (S2S3). I’ve shared photos of C. reginae on this blog before and a C. candidum post will be coming shortly.

I’ve posted photos of C. parviflorum (yellow lady’s slipper) here before as well but these accompanying photos were taken at a new location for me in St. Francois County. Some taxonomists, books and keys have this species split into two varieties – C. parviflorum var. pubescens, or the “greater” yellow lady’s slipper and C. parviflorum var. makasin, the “small” yellow lady’s slipper. Some authors have even split these two into specific status while even others have argued there is no basis in splitting these into varieties. From my limited experiences with these in Missouri and the taxonomic descriptions I have read, I have not seen ample evidence to suggest these should be split into varietal forms. There seems to be a lot of variation in the characteristics that are supposed to describe these two varieties and until someone shows me better proof that these should be treated as two separate forms, all I can say is that, “I’m from Missouri” and I will not be including these as two in my “master list” of the Missouri orchids.

If you are knowledgeable in this area and wish to argue, by all means, please let me know.

A very nicely patterned Cypripedium parviflorum.


Missouri Orchids – Spiranthes lacera (slender ladies tresses)

Spiranthes lacera, St. Francois Co, MO. f/16, 1/50 sec., ISO-640, 234 mm focal length equivalent

I only managed to photograph one of theĀ Spiranthes this year. I had opportunities for others, but I just couldn’t get to the right place at the right time. Good news is that it shouldn’t be too difficult to add them next year.

Spiranthes lacera, St. Francois Co, MO. f/16, 1/60 sec., ISO-640, 234 mm focal length equivalent

A bit closer really shows off the delicate details in flower and twisting stem.

Spiranthes lacera with passenger, St. Francois Co, MO. f/16, 1/50 sec., ISO-640, 234 mm focal length equivalent