Cypripedium kentuckiense

Cyp Kentuckiense

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Cypripedioideae
Tribe: Cypripedioideae
SubTribe: Cypripediinae
Genus: Cypripedium
Species: Cyp. kentuckiense
Binomial name
Cypripedium kentuckiense
Reed 1981

Cypripedium kentuckiense is a Cypripedium species found in the United States

Originally thought to be an aberrant form of Cypripedium parviflorum var.pubescens, the morphology of C. kentuckiense suggests it is a species of its own. However, molecular evidence suggests that C. kentuckiense is actually closer to Cypripedium parviflorum var.parviflorum than it is to Cypripedium parviflorum var.pubescens.


Plant blooms in the summer. C. kentuckiense has the largest flower of in the genus Cypripedium. The petals and sepals are greenish striped and mottled with purple while the very large lip, or pouch, is a creamy ivory or pale yellow. The plant can be up to 70 cm tall and has bract leaf-like leaves that are up to 12 cm long. Each plant is usually single-flowered.


Plants are found in woodland forest with acidic sand at 0 to 500 meters in Kentucky, Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Tennessee of the United States. However, the range of this species is not continuous; it mostly consists of relatively isolated patches. It is most often found in deep ravines on acidic and sandstone soils.


With hold watering during the summer and water frequently in the spring. Plant should be grown in a potting media with the pH around 6. Plant is said to be easy to grow. Plant should be kept in full to partial shade.


Common Names: The Kentucky Cypripedium, Southern Lady's Slipper


  1. Cypripedium daultonii V.G.Soukup 1977
  2. Cypripedium kentuckiense f. pricei P.M.Br. 1998


PDF iconConservartion genetics and taxonomic status of Cypripedium kentuckiense


  • Phillip Cribb & Peter Green (1997). The Genus Cypripedium (a botanical monograph). Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Timber Press ISBN 0-88192-403-2
  • Case, M.A, H.T. Mlodozeniec, L.E. Wallace, and T.W. Weldy. 1998. Conservation genetics and taxonomic status of the rare Kentucky Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium kentuckiense (Orchidaceae). American Journal of Botany, vol. 85, num. 12: 1779-1786