Cypripedium are hardy perennial wild orchids that range from 30 to 80cm in height.
They flower in the late spring with their slipper being one colour and their petals another; this creates a beautiful two coloured flower.
There is a large range of colour in Cypripedium orchids, including brown, pink, purple, white, and yellow.
Some of the common names of Cypripedium include Lady's-slipper orchids and the moccasin flower.
Cypripedium calceolus by urjsa.
Plants of the Cypripedium are very difficult to grow and look after.
If you do want to try to grow them from seed, then it is best to sterilise the seeds first (use a very very weak bleach solution, or vinegar), then lay the seed on blotting paper that has been soaked in boiling water (it is important that the whole operation remains as sterile as possible). The seeds should then be placed in a sterile box in the light at about 20 degrees Centigrade (68°F).
Alternatively if you have access to laboratory equipment, you may want to dissect the embryo from the seed and grow on a GM plate; or even give the seed a treatment with gibberellc acid to promote seed germination.
If seeds do germinate it can take anything from one month to one year, so bear with them and keep checking back.
If you do manage to get lady's-slipper orchids / Moccasin flower seedlings then you should plant them in the garden in the autumn about 40 cm (16 inches) apart in a woody acidic soil; ideally this should be cool so grow in the shade.
em>Cypripedium candidum - White Lady's Slipper by gmayfield.
Once Moccasin flowers (Cypripedium) are growing well they will required to be kept moist outside the growing season. If you require further plants, then you may want to divide the plant at the beginning of spring.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on Cypripedium. Updated September 2020.