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Pakistan | Family List | Orchidaceae | Cypripedium

Cypripedium cordigerum D. Don, Prodr. Fl. Nepal. 37. 1825. Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 6:170. 1890; J. Duthie, The Orchids of N. W. Himalaya, Ann. Roy. Bot. Gard. Calcutta, 9:203. Pl. 151. 1906; Blatter, Beaut. Fl. Kashm. 2:162. Pl. 57. f. 5. 1929. Rao, Further Contrib. Fl. Jammu & Kashm. 416. 1960; R.R. Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 67. 1972; J. Renz in Rech. f., Iran. 126: 11, Pl. 1. 1978.


Cypripedium cordigerum

Plants perennial, up to 60 cm tall, often in colonies. Rhizome creeping. Leaves 3-5(-6); suborbicular to elliptic; acute to acuminate, up to 15x10 cm, margins ciliolate with glandular hairs. Inflorescence usually 1-flowered, rarely 2-3-flowered. Bract leaf-like, 6-11 cm long. Sepal pale yellow-green, the dorsal ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, 3-4x 1.2-1.8 cm, the lateral ± fused with 5-15 mm long tips. Petals narrower, 3-4 x 0.6-0.8 cm. Labellum white, outside towards base with some purple spots, slipper-like, up to 3 cm long. Column 12-15 mm long, including the subcordate staminode, which on upper side is yellow with some dark purple spots. Ovary pedicellate, covered with short glandular hairs.

Fl. Per.: June-July.

Type: Nepalia, Gosaingsthan, Wallich (BM)!.

Distribution: Himalaya from Pakistan to Bhutan. and S. E. Tibet.

The flowers of Cypripedium belong to the group of “trap” flowers. An insect as it crawls in, can only escape from the slipper-like labellum through a tunnel near the base of the labellum from where it is directed first to the nearby stigma where possible pollinia from another flower on its back are stripped off and while escaping, sticky pollen from the nearby anthers adhere to its back for the pollination of another flower.


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