In 1737 Carl Linnaeus used the word Cypripedium to describe the European orchid species. The word Cyprus (the island Cyprus) originated from the name Cypripedium. Carl Linnaeus also used the word
pedilum, which meant shoe or slipper, to describe other species.
Cypripedium orchids occur naturally in the Far East, but these days it is cultivated almost anywhere in the world. There were also some European orchid species that could be categorized under the genus
Cypripedium orchid. It is not uncommon to see a Cypripedium orchid on somebody's front porch, home patio, etc. Many orchid growers cultivate Cypripedium orchids together with other plants such
as Camelias, Rhododendron and even Oriental Cymbidium orchids. One is not allowed to trade in these orchids as ordered by CITES, but none the less, some German orchid cultivators have
managed to hybridize some Cypripedium orchids and these hybrids are up for sale. Interesting enough some people tend to call the Cypripedium orchid the Yellow Lady Slipper orchid.
Most Cypripedium orchids have a stout and seldom branching rhizome. The rhizome on the orchid plant survives the dormant period. The bud of the orchid flower will be positioned at the terminal position. It is
a common occurrence to see a Cypripedium orchid that has three to many leaves growing along the stem. The blades of the leaves are ovate and elliptic in shape. Some Cypripedium orchid species also have
leaves that are hairy, especially on the veins and margins.
The number of orchid flowers per stalk per orchid plant varies from one to twelve depending on the species. On the orchid flower there is a triocular ovary which is either stalk less or born on a short stalk. The
ovary can be hairy, glandular, or glabrous. The sepal is the outermost floral envelope, at times the sepal can be fused half their length. The second flora whorl consists of the organs, two petals and a deeply
pouched lip. Depending on the species, the petals vary in shape from linear to elliptic and some are hairy on the inner side, and ciliate along the margins. Very prominent on the Cypripedium orchids are the
orchid flower lip. There are five types of orchids in the Cypripedium orchid group: these are the arietinum, calceolus, guttatum, japonicum, and the margaritaceum.
In the middle of the orchid flower there are short-stalked columns that arise to the structures of the orchid flower which is monocotyledonous. The Cypripedium orchid species contain seeds that are developed
by the fertilization of the ovuale after pollination. When mature the orchid seeds have a brown color.
The Cypripedium orchid and its hybrids can survive in a temperature that ranges from 4 to 30° Celsius (39 to 85° Fahrenheit).
If you are so lucky to locate an orchid grower that is willing to sell their Cypripedium orchids then you should now that the Cypripedium is best cultivated in conditions that will provide it with semi
shade. It is thus recommended that you make use of 50% shade cloth if you intend cultivating Cypripedium orchids. If you cultivate your Cypripedium in your garden then be sure to place it in a shady
spot. This orchid will only tolerate some morning sun.
The Cypripedium orchid is not a very demanding orchid and will stay happy when supplied with a damp pot (not wet) throughout the year.
As a terrestrial orchid the Cypripedium orchid is not a heavy feeder. These orchid plants will thrive if you feed them throughout spring, summer and early autumn once a week with half strength
fertilizer solution. They will even thrive on organic fertilizer. For Cypripedium orchids it would not be wise to feed during late autumn or through winter when the orchid plant is dormant.
The Cypripedium orchid species is relatively pest and disease free as fewer pests will attack them. On rare occasions you will find Cypripedium orchids that have aphid on the orchid plant. This is
usually those orchids that are placed in open shade houses, or even in the garden under the protective shade of a tree. In such a case, as an orchid grower, one should always be on the lookout for the usual garden
The Cypripedium orchid prefers rich soil that has a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 as the potting medium in which it will grow. It is really one of the easiest orchids to cultivate and will fit in perfectly with a
woodland garden. Provided that the area where you place your Cypripedium orchid is ideal, then in about 2 or 3 years you will notice new shoots coming off the main root of the original orchid plant.
If by the 3rd of 4th year you notice that your Cypripedium is struggling and is not really making progress, it is best to shift the orchid plant to a better location.
If you prefer to cultivate your Cypripedium orchid in pots then you will find that a potting mixture made of a coarse, well-drained medium such as charcoal, or even osmunda will work. Washed river sand or
grit, leaf mold and loam soil will however make up the best potting soil for the cultivation of Cypripedium orchids. The Cypripedium orchid detests wet feet and the quick draining of the potting medium
is thus important.