SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cypripedium
COMMON NAME(S): Lady slipper orchids, Moccasin flower
FAMILY: ORCHIDACEAE - Orchid family
ORIGIN: North temperate zone, 35 spp.
HABITAT: Shade of moist woods
HEIGHT: 1-3' usually
LEAVES: 2-4, clasping the stem, spirally arranged or near-opposite, round, often folded along the conspicuous veins
FLOWERS: Showy, borne 1-12 on a slender spike, with a large, sac-like pouch; red, white, pink, yellow
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Hairs
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: Contact dermatitis from handling these woodland orchids has been linked to glandular hairs on the stems and leaves. Plants in fruit are reportedly more causative. The native species in the region are C. acaule Aiton (Pink moccasin flower), C. calceolus L. (Yellow lady slipper) and C. reginae Walter (Queen lady slipper).