Phragmipedium caudatum print
Phrag. caudatum from
Lindenia Iconographie des Orchidées

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Cypripedioideae
Tribe: Phragmipedieae
SubTribe: Phragmipediinae
Genus: Phragmipedium
Rolfe 1896
Type Species
Phragmipedium caudatum

Phragmipedium is a genus of the Orchid family (Orchidaceae) (Subfamily Cypripedioideae) and the only genus comprised in the tribe Phragmipedieae and subtribe Phragmipediinae. It is abbreviated Phrag in trade journals.


About 20 species of these lady's slipper orchids are known from SW Mexico, Central and tropical South America.


Most Phragmipedium species are either terrestrial, epiphytic or lithophytic in habit. They show a unique shieldlike staminode, long, moustache-like petals and a 3-locular ovary. The large pouchlike lip is curved inwards at the margins. The acute leaves attain a length of about 80cm. The stem lacks pseudobulbs and grows about 80 cm high, showing 2 to 3 flowers.

All members of the genus Phragmipedium are listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).


Plants grow in cool to intermediate areas with bright indirect sunlight. Plants should be watered with clean water and keep potting media wet. Plants can tolerate lots of water as long as media remains fresh. Plants are sensitive to salts. Keep fertilizers to a minimum as plants are light feeders. Plant in a mix with good air circulation. Plants can be grown in a mix of sphagnum moss, charcoal and perlite or medium fir bark with perlite.


The name of the genus is derived from the Greek phragma, which means "division", and pedium, which means "slipper" (referring to the pouch).


  1. Uropedium Lindl. 1846
  2. Phragmopedilum Pfitzer 1898


The genus Phragmipedium is divided in several sections :

  1. Phragmipedium : P. caudatum, P. exstaminodium, P. lindenii
  2. Himantopetalum : P. caricinum, P. christiansenianum, P. pearcei, P. klotzscheanum, P. richteri, P. tetzlaffianum.
  3. Platypetalum : P. lindleyanum
  4. Lorifolia : P. boissierianum, P. hirtzii, P. longifolium, P. vittatum
  5. Micropetalum : P. besseae, P. besseae var. dalessandroi, P. fischeri, P. kovachii, P. schlimii.
  6. Schluckebieria : P. kovachii

Species Edit

Natural HybridsEdit


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  • Albert, V.Z. & B.Pettersson, Expansion of Genus Paphiopedilum Pfitzer to Include All Conduplicate-leaved Slipper Orchids (Cypripedioideae: Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 9(2) 133-139 (1994).
  • McCook, L. An Annotated Checklist of the Genus Phragmipedium - 28 p. - Special Publication of the Orchid Digest (1998).
  • Gruss, O. 2003. A checklist of the genus Phragmipedium. Orchid Digest 67: 213-241.
  • Braem, G. J., Ohlund, S., and Quene, R. J. 2004. The real Phragmipedium warszewiczianum: a clarification of the Phragmipedium caudatum complex (Phragmipedium section Phragmipedium). Orquideologia 23(2): 87-136
  • Pridgeon, A.M.; Cribb, P.J.; Chase, M.W. & F. N. Rasmussen (1999): Genera Orchidacearum Vol.1, Oxford U. Press. ISBN 0-19-850513-2

External LinksEdit