Cypripedium calceolus

Cyp calceolus

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Cypripedioideae
Tribe: Cypripedioideae
SubTribe: Cypripediinae
Genus: Cypripedium
Species: Cyp. calceolus
Binomial name
Cypripedium calceolus
L. 1753

Cypripedium calceolus, is an orchid that is native to Eurasia


Plant flowers in late spirng to summer with 1 to 3 flower. Cypripedium calceolus is the species of Cypripedium that has been in cultivation the longest. In Britain it was formerly a reasonably widespread plant across northern England; however, by the late 20th century, it had declined to just a single population in Yorkshire. The Norwegian municipality of Snåsa has a Cypripendium calceolus in its coat-of-arms.

Cypripedium calceolus sensu stricto ("in the strict sense") does no occur in North America. The closely related Cypripedium parviflorum and C. pubescens are often still referred to as subspecies or variety of C. calceolus.

The roots of Cyp. calceous were used for medicinal purposes. It contains Cypripedin, which was used as an antispasmodic and a nerve medicine. It was used to also treat anxiety and restlessness


Plants are found in open woodland areas growing under trees in rich limestone soils at 0 to 2500 meters. The soil is hard but uncompressed. The plant is found in England, Scandinavia, Eastern Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Mid Russia, Siberia, Northern China, Japan, and Korea.


Cyp calceolus cultivation

Cyp. calceolus in cultivation

The plant can be grown partial shade to bright light. Potting media must have a pH of 7 or lower. Plants can be grown in 100% medium to fine gravel or pumice. Another mix that is used is 50% gravel, 25% perlite, and 25% fine bark.


Cypripedium calceolus flavum Cypripedium calceolus var. flavum green sepals and petals, flowers are larger, lip is lighter
Cypripedium calceolus var. viridiflora Orchi Cypripedium calceolus var. virdiflora
(L.) M. Schulze 1897
green sepals and petals flowers are larger


Common Names: Limestone Loving Cypripedium


Cyp calceolus plate
  1. Calceolus marianus Crantz, Stirp. Austr. Fasc., ed. 2, 6: 454 (1769).
  2. Cypripedium boreale Salisb., Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton: 10 (1796), nom. illeg.
  3. Cypripedium ferrugineum Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. 2: 213 (1821), nom. illeg.
  4. Cypripedium atsmori C.Morren, Belgique Hort. 1: 171 (1851).
  5. Cypripedium cruciatum Dulac, Fl. Hautes-Pyrénées: 128 (1867), nom. illeg.
  6. Calceolus alternifolius St.-Lag., Ann. Soc. Bot. Lyon 7: 62 (1880).
  7. Cypripedium alternifolium St.-Lag., Ann. Soc. Bot. Lyon 7: 62, 124 (1880), nom. illeg.
  8. Cypripedilon marianus (Crantz) Rouy, J. Bot. (Morot) 8: 58 (1894).
  9. Cypripedium microsaccos Kraenzl., Russk. Bot. Zhurn. 1913: 58 (1913).


PDF iconGenetic Diversity of Cypripedium caceolus at the edge and in the center of its range in Europe

PDF iconGenetic diversity in Cypripedium calceolus with a focus on NW Europe as revealed by plastid DNA length polymorphism

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