Cypripedium acaule (Sabot de la Vierge) is a member of the orchid genus Cypripedium. Commonly referred to as Lady's Slipper orchids it was first described in 1700.
The Pink Lady's Slipper is the provincial flower of Prince Edward Island, Canada. In Quebec and Nova Scotia, Canada it is a protected plant, and it is endangered.
Cypripedium acaule can be found in the eastern third of the United States and north into Canada, coming very close to the arctic circle. This widespread species can be found in a wide variety of environments: from coastal plains to pine barrens to mountain tops. However, it prefers its soil to be highly acidic and can usually be found where pine trees provide a groundcover of needles.
Cypripedium acaule grows in a variety of different habitats, including moist and dry soils. It is usually found in pine forests, where it can be seen in large colonies, but it grows in deciduous woods, as well. It is nearly always found in soil with high acid content. Because of a fungus association needed for growth, and the high acid this plant needs, C. acaule is very difficult to grow in the average garden and is unlikely to survive any attempts at transplantation.
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