<< Previous Next >>

Lady`s slipper orchid

Lady`s slipper orchid
Photo Information
Copyright: anita and mike allsopp (juanit) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 5 N: 270] (1522)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-06-07
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Canon 400D, Tamrom 90mm f2.8 DI
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Orchids of Europe, my favourite european orchids, Orchids of Great Britain [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-06-09 6:52
Viewed: 3599
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Cypripedium calceolus.

The single remaining English Lady's-slipper orchid and its recent descendents live on a protected site in Yorkshire which you can't normally visit. By reputation this is guarded by a special botanical branch of the SAS who have a license to kill and nuke your home town should you even ask where the site is. This photo is therefore a reasonable compromise as it is pretty certain that the plant was planted at this North Lancashire site probably more than 80 years ago.

A robust plant, 30-50cm tall, with up to five broad, strongly furrowed and veined, alternate, yellow-green leaves, which sheath the stem. The bract is large and erect, standing up like a hood behind the flower. Most plants carry a single flower, rarely two. The sepals and petals are a deep reddish-brown. The lateral sepals, 3-5cm long, are slightly twisted. The two lower sepals are conjoined, so that the broad sepals and petals form a cross behind the big, yellow, slipper-shaped lip, which is 2-3cm long. The inside of the lip is marked with lines of orange dots. The opening of the pouch-like lip is partly blocked by the large, tongue-shaped staminode which also bears orange dots.

Height: 30-50cm
No. of flowers: usually 1

Late May to early June

Reduced to one native site in Yorkshire. Seed collected there was grown under laboratory conditions and, since 1989, seedlings have been re-introduced to sixteen classic sites where it had grown in the past


None known.


Steep, grassy slopes at the foot of limestone 'scars', also in light woodland with Ash, Hazel and stunted oak.

Bees of the genus Andrena act as pollinators in Europe, and are present where the orchid grows in Yorkshire. However, they are only attracted to groups of flowers and tend to ignore single plants. The bee enters the 'slipper' easily, but can only get out by pushing between the side of the pouch and the staminode, receiving a dusting of pollen in the process.


Over-collection for specimens and gardens led to the virtual extinction of the Lady's-slipper. Current problems include damage by slugs, snail, voles and rabbits. Public access is strictly controlled.


Argus, oanaotilia, gpeler has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To gpeler: Thankyoujuanit 1 06-14 23:41
To Argus: Thankyoujuanit 1 06-10 11:37
To oanaotilia: Thankyoujuanit 1 06-10 11:16
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-06-09 8:18]
  • [+]

Hello Anita and Mike,
I knew that there was one heavily guarded site in Yorkshire for the Lady's slipper orchid, but didn't know about its reintroduction into its previous sites. So it's nice to see this capture and the info to go with it. The lighting, simple composition and sharpness make this a joy to see.
In Sweden it is now mainly confined to the central parts of the country. In the south the few sites were not protected enough, as presumably foreign visitors plundered them. In Sweden it is acriminal offence to pick any orchid, let alone the Lady's Slipper.
Years ago we visited a site that had about 50 plants growing together but that was before I had a digital camera...
TFS this beauty,

One of my favorite orchid. Good details. TFS

Hello :)
This is a lovely photo of an orchid. This is different from the orchids in North Cyprus. I think we don't have it Cyprus. Very nice micro shot. TFS
Best Regards

Calibration Check