The California Lady's Slipper reaches the northern limit of its distribution in the Siskyous, and is found further south only in a very small area of northern California. It is a tall plant, to 130 cm (four feet), though the plants we saw were all shorter, and each stem can carry around twenty flowers, though, again, what we saw had fewer flowers, usually around six to ten per plant with more in only a couple of cases.
The flowers are small, 10 cm, and are yellow-orange to yellowish-green, to clear green and bronze with a white pouch. All the flowers we saw except on one plant had pink markings at the opening of the lip. The one stem that was an exception lacked the pink color completely. The flowers alternate with the leaves and were in prime condition with only the very lowest flowers on the plants showing signs of age and starting to close.
One huge bonus was that these plants which grow only in serpentine areas were found with hundreds of the Few-flowered Rein Orchis, Platanthera sparsiflora, another new species for us, and with the Cobra Lily, Darlingtonia californicum, an amazing insectivorous plant, and also a lover of wet serpentine areas. The plants we saw were found on a forest service road in California at a high altitude - those at lower altitudes were already finished.