Categories: Herbaceous Perennial
Cypripedium reginae is a large herbaceous, deciduous, perennial, terrestrial orchid of wet habitats. The thick, thumb sized growth buds poke up a bit later than most other species of Cypripedium, and over a month’s time can grow into plants approaching a meter tall. It’s stem typically is a bit shorter, between 40-75 cm on average, and supports between 3-7 highly pubescent leaves. The leaves are borne alternately off the stem, are somewhat elongated, yet generally ovate, and deeply ribbed. The stem and leaves are highly hairy and can cause allergic contact dermatitis if handled.
The dorsal sepal, petals, and synsepal are absolutely pure white, and I do mean pure white. The lip has a white base color and is suffused with purple-pink – sometimes as a light blush, sometimes so thick that it seems entirely deep purple, but often this flushing is in parallel lines creating an alternating purple and white striped pattern. The staminode as well is pure white and typically has yellow blushing on its lower half accompanied by purple-pink blotches and spots. Pure alba forms exist as well. Flowering commences in mid June and can extend into July in the far north of its range.