Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Calypso bulbosa
calypso, fairy-slipper, Venus-slipper

Distribution: Widely distributed on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Rocky Mountains, east across Canada to the Great Lakes region and eastern North America.

Habitat: Mostly in cool, deep shade of moist forests in soil rich in humus, sea level to mid-elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: March-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous, perennial herbs from an ovoid corm, the stems upright, 5-20 cm. tall.


Leaves 1, produced at the top of the corm in the fall and persisting over the winter, withering in the summer; leaf blade longer than the petiole, broadly ovate-elliptic to oblong-ovate, 3-6 cm. long; scape with 2-3 bracts.


Flowers usually single; 3 sepals and 2 petals alike, erect, 15-22 mm. long, lanceolate, magenta with 3 deeper-colored veins; third petal a pendant, saccate lip, somewhat longer than the other petals and about 10 mm. wide, yellowish-purple or reddish-purple, streaked inside the sac with brownish-purple; stamens and style fused to form a magenta column over the opening to the lip.


Capsule about 1 cm. long.

Accepted Name:
Calypso bulbosa (L.) Oakes
Publication: Nat. Hist. Vermont. 1: 200. 1842.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Calypso bulbosa in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Calypso bulbosa checklist entry

OregonFlora: Calypso bulbosa information

E-Flora BC: Calypso bulbosa atlas page

CalPhotos: Calypso bulbosa photos

140 photographs:
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