[The Lady's Slipper Orchids of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper

Cypripedium montanum

Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum

Mountain lady's slippers as seen in a mixed conifer/oak forest along the Klickitat River in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area...............May 20, 2012.

Characteristics:

The mountain lady's slipper is an attractive wildflower with a single, erect, leafy stem from 20-60 cm in height. The leaves are widely elliptic or ovate-elliptic, from 5-15 cm long and up to 7 cm wide, slightly glandular-pubescent, sessile and sheathing. The venation is parallel.

The one- three flowers are large and showy, ranked one above the other. Each flower is opposite a large green, leaf-like bract. The sepals are light to deeply brownish-purple, narrowly to broadly lanceolate, twisted or wavy, with the upper sepal from 4-5 cm long and the two drooping sepals shorter in length. The pair of upper petals are similarly colored, while the lower, drooping petal, forms a pouch-like lip from 2-3 cm in length. The lower lip is pure white with purple venation. The flower is fragrant too.

Like many other large orchids, the mountain lady's slipper should be admired in its natural environment and not picked or dug. Generally, the plants do not survive transplanting and picking may reduce the chances for survival by robbing the plant of much of its photosynthetic capabilities.


Habitat:

The mountain lady's slipper may be found on dry to fairly moist ground both in the open as well as in shrub or forest-covered slopes.


Range:

Mountain lady's slipper is found from Alaska south (along the east side of the Cascades) to Santa Cruz County in California and east to southwestern Alberta, Montana and Wyoming. It appears to be absent from the Olympic Mountains and west of the Cascade crest in Washington and Oregon.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found sporadically east of the White Salmon River to the Columbia Hills between the elevations of 1200'-2500'.


Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum - Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum

Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum - Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum - Flowers of Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum

Close-ups of mountain lady's slippers as seen in a mixed conifer/oak forest along the Klickitat River in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area...............May 20, 2012.

Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum - Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum with flower buds. - Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum - Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum

Mountain lady's slippers as seen in a mixed conifer/oak forest in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area...............May 17, 2017.

Emerging leaves of Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum - Old fruits of Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum

New leaves emerging from the oak leaf litter and the old seed heads of mountain lady slipper as seen in the Klickitat Wildlife Area........April 6, 2013.

Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum - Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum

Flower of Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum - Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum

Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum

Mountain lady's slippers as seen in a mixed conifer-oak forest along the Klickitat River in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area...............May15, 2013.

Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum - Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum

Habitat of Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum

Mountain lady slippers as seen in a mostly coniferous forest. The forest had started out as mixed but the conifers are getting old enough that they are shading out the deciduous shrubs and trees. The understory is fairly open and this may be the result of thinning and other management on this private piece of property. Photographed along the western branch of Major Creek, Columbia River Gorge..........May 28, 2013.

Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum - Flower of Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum - Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum

Mountain lady slippers blooming near Satus Pass, Washington..........May 24, 2015.

Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum: Cypripedium montanum

Mountain lady slippers blooming near Little Bowman Creek, Klickitat Wildlife Area...........May 22, 2015.

Mountain Lady Slipper, Mountain Lady's Slipper: Cypripedium montanum

Mountain lady's slipper from the eastern edge of the Mt. Hood N.F...............June 99.

Paul Slichter