Monday, June 16, 2014

Cypripedium x columbianum


Cypripedium x columbianum, the Columbia Hybrid Lady's Slipper, is a natural hybrid of Cypripedium parviflorum, the Yellow Lady's Slipper, and Cypripedium montanum, the Mountain Lady's Slipper.  When found it is often growing with one or both parents.  In an undisclosed location in Washington there is a population of well over one hundred plants that includes this hybrid.  In fact, I am putting all the plants found at this location under this name since it is doubtful that any of them are pure Cypripedium parviflorum or montanum, though some of the flowers look like one or the other parent.  The flowers that are clearly hybrids have neither the white lip of Cypripedium montanum, nor the yellow lip of Cypripedium parviflorum but range in the color of the lip from off white through ivory to pale yellow.

flowers that look like Cypripedium parviflorum







flowers that look like Cypripedium montanum









flowers that are clearly Cypripedium x columbianum
(intermediate between the two parents as evident especially in the color of the lip)









Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Calypso bulbosa var. americana fma. rosea


The Fairy Slipper has two varieties in North America (two more in Europe and Asia).  The variety we most often see in our area is the Western Fairy Slipper, Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis.  That variety has a very limited range and is found only west of the Rockies and in the Cascades.  East of the Cascades, however and across North America, the other variety can be found, the Eastern Fairy Slipper, Calypso bulbosa var. americana, the subject of the previous post.  This post concerns the pink-flowered form of that variety, Calypso bulbosa var. americana fma. rosea.  We have to go quite a ways east of the Cascades to find the Eastern Fairy Slipper in Washington and when we do the flowers are predominantly this pink form.

June 3
(eastern Washington)












Calypso bulbosa var. americana


The Fairy Slipper has two North American varieties, the Eastern Fairy Slipper, Calypso bulbosa var. americana, found across North America, and the Western Fairy Slipper, Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis, found only west of Rockies and in the Cascades.  The former is the subject of this post.  It is easily identifiable by its yellow "beard" (the western variety has a white beard), and by its lack of brown spotting on the lip (the western variety is heavily spotted). For us this is the variety that is uncommon (though common across North America, since we have to travel some distance east and across the mountains to see it.

June 3
(near the end of its bloom season in eastern Washington)