Orchidaceae – Cypripedioideae or Lady Slipper Orchid

Lady’s slipper orchids (also known as lady slipper orchids or slipper orchids) are orchids in the subfamily Cypripedioideae, which includes the genera Cypripedium, Mexipedium, Paphiopedilum, Phragmipedium and Selenipedium.[1] They are characterised by the slipper-shaped pouches (modified labellums) of the flowers – the pouch traps insects so they are forced to climb up past the staminode, behind which they collect or deposit pollinia, thus fertilizing the flower. Unlike other orchids, Cypripedioideae have two fertile anthers — they are “diandrous”.  wikipedia

Alright, who came up with the name “Lady Slipper” for this orchid? I mean I know women’s shoe fashions can get pretty interesting but does this look like anything any woman in any century would even remotely have worn? But aside from an interesting name, this flower is a true example of form being functional.  I tend to anthropomorphize orchids because I see in them certain “features” like little faces or aliens, tongues sticking out, pig snouts, or in the case of this  Paphiopedilum,  whiskers in the middle of its face.

Click on image to view larger

F5.0 – 1/320 – ISO100 – 100mm – Canon 5D


About imagesbytdashfield

Fine art photographer who loves to see and capture the amazing things in this world. Owner of Images by TDashfield photography. www.imagesbytdashfield.com
This entry was posted in Art, Flowers, Nature, Ohio, photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Orchidaceae – Cypripedioideae or Lady Slipper Orchid

  1. Great post! We are lucky enough to have wild ‘Lady Slipper’ orchids growing in NY. A friend has a bank full of them, luckily only visible from her drive way, otherwise I am guessing they’d be dug up by plant collectors.

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    Maybe they should have called it the Manolo Blahnik orchid? 🙂

  3. Uncle Tree says:

    What wings! Purple Haze takes flight ~ nice shot!

  4. Brenda says:

    Fabulous!! I love these photos. I’m so happy to view a little beauty as this winter drags its sullen feet.

  5. ChgoJohn says:

    Gorgeous! Every Spring I anxiously wait to see if mine have made it through Winter. I’m worried about them this year. Fingers crossed.

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