Alphabetical Plant Listing

Cypripedium kentuckiense (Kentucky Lady's Slipper Orchid)

Kentucky Lady's Slipper Orchid, Southern Lady's Slipper, Ivory Lady's Slipper, Purloined Slipper, Cypripedium 'Kentucky'


Cypripedium kentuckiense (Kentucky Lady's Slipper Orchid) is a hardy terrestrial orchid boasting one of the largest flowers of any lady’s slippers. Blooming in mid spring to early summer, each blossom features a large, egg-sized, cream to pale yellow pouch surrounded by two twisting, mottled greenish-purple petals and three wavy-edged sepals. The flowers are borne atop a hairy stem clad with 2-9 pleated, broad-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, leaves, 7 in. long (17 cm). Native to the southeastern United States, Kentucky Lady's Slipper Orchid occurs naturally in hardwood forests on damp, low-lying areas near springs and in flood plains in acidic, sandy, and well-drained soils. Rarely found in the wild, Kentucky Lady's Slipper Orchid is considered globally vulnerable, due in large part to its limited range and shrinking habitat. Never dig plants in the wild, not only because of their rarity, but also because they transplant very poorly.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 18-30 in. tall (45-75 cm) and 12-18 in. wide (30-45 cm).
  • Thrives in part shade (ideally with some morning sun) in acidic, moist, well-drained soils. This plant likes moist boggy areas and tolerates wet soils.
  • Excellent choice for woodland gardens or underplanting shrubs and roses.
  • Propagate by division in early or mid-spring and replant immediately. Some of the soil from the root ball, which contains beneficial fungi, should be planted with each division.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for slugs and gray moulds.
  • Native to the southeastern United States from Virginia to Texas.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
Plant Type Orchids, Perennials
Plant Family Cypripedium - Laddy Slippers
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" (45cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
Plant Type Orchids, Perennials
Plant Family Cypripedium - Laddy Slippers
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" (45cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs

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