Cypripedium kentuckiense grows in southern hardwood forests in moist, low-lying areas near springs and on floodplains in acidic, sandy, well-drained soils.

The Kentucky, also famous as the Lady’s Slipper  occurs in the southern United States from Virginia to Texas in widely separated populations.

C. kentuckiense grows primarily in dispersed colonies in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and the easternmost counties of Texas.

Cypripedium kentuckiense main characteristics

  • Cypripedium kentuckiense is a large, deciduous perennial herb up to 70 cm tall, but is generally slightly shorter.
  • Its root expansion consists of a thick, creeping rhizome. It also has numerous ramifications no less than roots up to 40 centimeters or longer.
  • These are light cream in color when healthy. The only fleshy pubescent stem has 3-5 oval, pleated leaves. The leaves end in a sharp tip like other related members of the genus and are 13-17 cm long and 5-10 cm wide.
  • These are also pubescent. The flower is growing at the apex of the stem. Besides the flower, there is a floral bract that looks exactly like the leaves, growing by the flower.
  • Flowering begins as early as April in the extreme south of its range and until June in the north.
  • The attraction of this species is to grow it individually. It is very large, with a natural extension of 12 cm or more. That is what makes it one of the largest flowering species in the genus.
  • The sepals and petals are usually very striated with a purple brown color, forming an almost chocolate brown appearance. However, its base color is apple green.

Further Characteristics:

  • The petals hang down and are slightly to moderately twisted, each 7-10 cm long and less than 1 cm wide.
  • The dorsal sepal is wide and extends forward, often sloping over the lip, growing to 10 cm long and 5 cm wide.
  • The synsepal (it is a floral structure formed by the partial or complete fusion of two or more sepals) is pretty wide. Although it is quite large, it has a bulbous lip that it encompasses.
  • The long triangular staminoid is yellow in color and has a purple brown spots on it.
  • The true focal point of the flower is the huge lip that can rival the size of a large chicken egg. It is commonly cream color, but can also be pure white or pale yellow.
  • The borders of the lip hole has usually purple spots. The lines of the inner bottom half have purple spots that are somewhat evident from the outside.

A unique feature of the lip is its deep, with its extending shape that forms an almost flat plane in the hole, very different from any shape of its close relative C. parviflorum. Occasionally an alba form is seen, with a pure white lip and light green sepals and petals.

Occasionally, you can also see a specimens with deep purple-smeared lips, but such plants are truly rare, even in the wild.

Pictures of the Cypripedium kentuckiense flower

Coming soon 😉

More exotic flowers.