Cypripedium passerinum
Sparrow's Egg Lady's Slipper

Location Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, North West Territories.
Specific Habitat

Subarctic species found only in the Canadian provinces and Alaska; not found anywhere in the United States. Found in Hudson and James Bay lowlands and the north shore of Lake Superior; inhabits moist, evergreen forests or sandy, gravelly shores of rivers; tolerates both acidic and calcareous conditions.

Flowering SeasonJune to August.

Height to 30 cm. Stem erect.
Leaves 3 - 5, sheathing lower part of stem.
Flowers - fragrant, nodding, solitary, smaller than most of the lady's slippers; petals are white; pouch varies in colour from white to rose, small purple spots on pouch.


A rare species first collected in 1820 in 'Arctic America' by a surgeon-scientist on the Franklin Polar Sea Expedition. Unique among Cypripedium in its strong tendency to self-pollinate.


Guide to Orchids of North America
Native Orchids of the United States and Canada
Orchids of Ontario


© Royal Botanical Gardens, Dr. Donald Gunn Image Collection.