Cypripedium californicum A.Gray

California Lady's Slipper

Facts About

Accepted Synonyms: None

Cypripedium californicum, the California Lady's Slipper, has the smallest range of the western lady's slippers- limited to southwestern Oregon and northern California. Often found in large colonies, the tall plants may exceed 120 cm with alternating leaves and numerous flowers. The flowers have yellow petals and a white pouch similar in size to C. passerinum, but the number of flowers and their display along the stem, distinguishes this orchid from all other lady's slippers. This orchid prefers wet areas such as seeps, marshes, forest openings and steep slopes, usually with a serpentine substrate.

Cypripedium californicum is considered vulnerable because of its limited distribution and its occurrence in areas that could be logged or mined. This orchid is also threatened by illegal collection.


This orchid is pollinated by the carpenter bee, Ceratina acantha and may become territorial when other insects approached the flower.

Ecosystem Type

Marshes, seeps, stream bank, woodlands


Leaf arrangement:
  • alternate
  • stem
Number of leaves on stem:
  • five
  • six
  • seven or more
Form of the labellum:
the labellum is pouch-like
Labellum outline:
the labellum is simple
Main color of labellum:
Nectar spur:
Inflorescence type:
the inflorescence is a raceme
Labellum characteristics:
the labellum is saccate
Labellum length:
15–20 mm
Sepal length:
15–20 mm
Plant height:
25–120 cm
Show All Characteristics

Native to North America


North American Conservation Status & Distribution

Conservation Status

Select a location to view conservation status:

Conservation and Wetland Status
Global Rank Vulnerable
US Status N/A
Canadian Status N/A

North America Distribution

Adapted from USDA data