Lady's Slipper
Theft of Rare Orchid
It was reported on BBC1 North West News (22/7/04) that a Lady's Slipper, Cyprepedium calceolus, had been stolen from an English Nature protected site in the North West. It is believed that the plant was stolen to order. Lady's Slipper, which is one of the rarest plants in the UK, is protected by law. It is easily distinguished from other species by its yellow, slipper-like labellum and brown-maroon petals.

News Update: According to The Times (9/4/05) residual roots of the ruined plant were showing signs of a remarkable recovery - green shoots were reappearing. Subsequently, over the late May bank holiday weekend the plant bore three flowers, as shown on BBC1 NW News (30/5/05).

. Description and Ecological Characteristics
. Frosch Exclusive Perennials, Germany
Growing European Native Orchids
. Hardy Orchid Society
. LBAP - Biodiversity - Lady's Slipper
. Orchid Taxonomy at Kew
. Photographs of other Wild Orchids
. RHS on Growing lady's slipper hybrids in the UK
Sainsbury Orchid Conservation Project, RBG Kew
. Species Action Plan (JNCC)
. Species Recovery Programme
. Species Variation
Cyprepedium calceolus
Cyprepedium calceolus
Cyprepedium Ulla Silkens
Cyprepedium Ulla Silkens gx

Further Reading on Hardy Orchids
  • Ardle, J. (2003) 'From tiny protocorms...', The Garden (RHS), May, pp. 334-37. [Hardy orchid growing at Writhlington School, Somerset; also featured at Chelsea 2006]
  • Bailes, C. (2005) 'Hardy exotics and native beauties', The Garden (RHS), May, pp. 342-47.
  • Cribb, P. C. (1993) 'The Lady's Slipper orchid revisited', Quarterly Bulletin of the Alpine Garden Society, Vol. 61, No. 3, September, pp. 304-09.

    [According to this article (p. 306) the first known painting of a genuine British plant of Lady's Slipper from a known locality was in 1798 by Harriet Wickham of Leeds, reproduced on p. 307. ]
  • Cribb, P. C. (1997) The Genus Cyprepedium, Portland, Oregon, Timber Press.
  • Cribb, P. C. and Butterfield, I. (1999) The Genus Pleione, (2nd edn), Kew, Royal Botanical Gardens.
  • Friend, R. G. (2004) Growing Orchids in Your Garden, Portland, Oregon, Timber Press.
  • Harrap, A. and Harrap, S. (2005) Orchids of Britain and Ireland: A Field and Site Guide, A&C Black, London.
  • Lancaster, R. (2007) 'A natural remedy' The Garden (RHS), December, pp. 806-809. [Return of orchids to industrial wasteland in Bolton]
  • North, C. (2005) 'Some orchids I have known', The Hardy Plant, Vol. 26, No. 1, Spring, pp. 27-30.
  • Stewart, J. (1988) 'Orchids outside?', The Garden (RHS), April, pp. 155-60.
  • Stewart, J. and Mitchell, R. (1991) 'Test tube orchids', The Garden (RHS), January, pp. 32-36.
Bletilla striata
Bletilla striata