Welcome to the Slipper Orchid Scratchpad

The slipper orchids (Cypripediodeae: Orchidaceae) comprise one of the five sub-families in the Orchid family.

The most prominent feature of slipper orchids is the pouched or ‘slipper shaped’ lip, which forms a trap for visiting insects that effect pollination as they make their escape. The lateral sepals are fused to form a synsepal. As with all orchids, the male and female reproductive parts of the flower (stamens and stigma) are fused into a single structure called the column. In slipper orchids the column is topped by a conspicuous more or less ‘shield-shaped’ staminode (present in all species except Phragmipedium exstaminodium).

The classification data and nomenclature (including protologue citation) used in emonocot Cypripedioideae are derived from the World Checklist of Monocots. Taxon descriptions and associated information (including ecology and habitat) are sourced from a variety of taxonomic treatments, with permission from the publishers. These include the monographs by Phillip J. Cribb (for Cypripedium, Paphiopedilum and Selenipedium), the treatment of  Phragmipedium by Lucile McCook (1989) and the description of the monotypic Mexican genus Mexipedium by Mark Chase (1996).

To learn more about the emonocot project, see emonocot.org

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith