Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin (Small Yellow Lady's Slipper) - photos and description













General: Leafy plants with an upright growth habit, often found in clumps of many stems. Plants pubescent.

Flowers: Flowers solitary on long peduncles. They are showy, yellow, with a pouch-like lower lip. Flowers with a slight fragrance. Two lateral petals are twisted, and are dark brown (darker than Large Yellow Lady’s Slipper). The dorsal sepal grows above the slipper, and two sepals are united together under the slipper.

Slippers up to 30 mm long,  Twice I’ve recorded the lengths of Small Yellow slippers when I’ve found them in the Nisbet provincial forest – very small at only 15 mm long, and once at 25 mm long. Flowers may a slight fragrance. 

Leaves: Leaves are alternate, oval to elliptical, clasp the stem somewhat; leaf highlighted in photo above was 9 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. leaf margins hairy and also hairy on undersides along the nerves.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 40 cm, we've measured plants to 35 cm tall.

Habitat: Adapted to a range of habitat, from moist grassland meadows in the eastern Parklands in Saskatchewan to coniferous bogs in our boreal forest

Abundance: Rare, ranked as an S3 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

Similar plants: Distinguished from Large Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens) chiefly by the size of the lower lip, which in Large Yellow Lady's Slipper is > 35 mm in length, and less than 35 mm for Small Yellow Lady's Slipper. The lateral petals in Large Yellow Lady's Slipper in general are lighter in colour, yellowish-green streaked with brown, and not the dark brown colour usually found in Small Yellow Lady's Slipper.

When and where photographed: Photos taken June 5th in a highway ditch 100 km northeast of Regina, SK, June 18th wet meadow on edge of tree line in east central Saskatchewan, and June 28th in mossy, wet spruce forest in central Saskatchewan.