North American Cypripediums: Species, Hybrids, and Awards by Nile Dusdieker. Student judging presentation 1/10/9

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1 North American Cypripediums: Species, Hybrids, and Awards by Nile Dusdieker Student judging presentation 1/10/9

2 North American Cypripediums: Species, Hybrids and Awards By Nile Dusdieker 1/09 Introduction The Swedish botanist and physician, Carl Linnaeus, was the first to offer the genus name Cypripedium for slipper orchids in his 1737 Genera Plantarum. The name was derived from Kypris (Greek), Cyprus, the island home of the goddess Aphrodite; and pedilon the word for shoe or slipper; hence the common name lady s slipper. Leonard Plukenet, the British botanist, was the first to publish drawings of the North American Cypripediums in his Almatheum botanicum in All slipper orchids were included in the genus Cypripedium in the 1800s until the German, Pfitzer split the tropical species into three separate genera; the southeast Asian Paphiopedilums, the South American Phragmipediums, and the smaller genus Selenepedium. Most recently the single species genus Mexipedium was added. That leaves the genus Cypripedium numbering temperate to cool growing terrestrial slipper orchid species found across northern Europe, Asia and North America. Thirteen species are found exclusively in North America and will be the focus of this presentation. Outline of Presentation 1. North American Cypripedium species: Description, habitat, AOS awards, and offspring 2. The Yellow Lady Slipper Taxonomy controversy: Cyp. calceolus vs Cyp parviflorum 3. Early Cypripedium Hybrids: 4. Current trends in Cypripedium Hybridization: 5. Judging Comments:

3 North American Cypripedium Species Phillip Cribb, in his book The Genus Cypripedium (1997), describes these orchids as small to large terrestrial herbs with elongate, fiberous roots arising from a short to elongate rhizome; erect leafy shoots, clustered or well spaced, hairy, glandular, or glabrous; one to several leaves, green, spotted with blackish maroon in some species; inflorescence terminal, one to many flowered. Flowers are usually showy; dorsal sepal erect to hooded over the lip; lateral sepals usually fused to form a concave synsepal; petals free, spreading, some with twist; lip deeply pouched slipper or urn shaped; column short stalked with two anthers, pollen powdery or glutinous, staminode terminal on the column. Cribb has further described sub-generic classification of the genus on the basis of morphological, palynological, anatomical, and molecular data as of The 13 North American Cypripedium Species are listed here with their habitat, AOS awards, and hybridization potential Cypripedium acaule: Moccasin Flower or Pink Lady s Slipper Description: Terrestrial herb 20 45cm tall; stems very short; rhizome elongate, leaves two, sub-opposite; inflorescence erect, 1 rarely 2 flowers; sepals and petals yellow-green to maroon, pouch pink occasionally white, pouch very large ovoid with longitudinal orifice; size 8 x 12cm. Monotypic sub-generic section: Acaulia. Habitat: Found in wet sphagnum bog to dry pine forest, usually in moderate shade. Soil is universally acidic and well aerated. Blooms April to June. Awards: 1 JC 1975 for cultivation to bloom in February; 1 CBM 1975 and 1 HCC Lia 1979, with 4 flowers on 4 inflorescences, Nat. spr. 7.9cm (Santa Barbara Judging) Offspring: 3 primary hybrids with no awards. Comments: This species is nearly impossible to grow in cultivation. Hybrids made show a dominance of the pouch shape and size. Cypripedium arietinum Ram s Head Slipper Dwarf species up to 30cm tall; one to clustered stems from short rhizome, 3 to 4 leaves; inflorescence, one flower, purple green sepals and petals; lip white deeply veined with purple except at mouth opening; size 3x3 cm. Sub-generic section: Arietinum Habitat: Cold bog, wet coniferous forest, rocky slopes in Canada, open shade, soil ph 6.0; Blooms May to June Awards: 1 CBM 1968; Offspring: none Comments: very difficult to grow, easily rot.

4 Cypripedium fasciculatum Brownie or Cluster Slipper. Dwarf species with drooping habit up to 25cm tall; one to two stems per short slender rhizome; two leaves curve to ground; inflorescence, 2-4 flowers size 4x4cm, brown with purplish striation; pouch yellow-green streaked or mottle purple; staminode is white; Sub-generic section: Enantiopedilum Habitat: Cool to cold open coniferous forest duff and in rocky montane scrub; high altitude. Species is unique; only Cyp. inflorescences with multiple clustered flowers. Blooms May to July. Awards: none Offspring: none Not found in cultivation Cypripedium californicum Clump forming species with erect leafy stems to 120cm tall; inflorescence racemous with up to 12 ascending opening flowers; size 4x4 cm; sepals and petals yellow-green; pouch white with lilac lines; staminode white with central green marking. Sub-generic section: Irapeana Habitat: wet marshy areas near mountain streams in moderate shade. Blooms May to July. Awards: Montclair HCC, CBM 1977 Nat. spr. 3.7cm. Offspring: one. No awards Comments: Cultivation in cold frames possible potential for multifloral hybrids. Cypripedium irapeanum Tall terrestrial herb to 150cm; solitary or clustered stems from short rhizome; leaves multiple along stem; inflorescence 6 to 10 ascending opening bright yellow flowers with red markings on staminode; size 8x6 cm. Blooms at the beginning of the rainy season, June July. Sub-generic section: Irapeana Habitat: Open alpine meadows and pine-oak forest of the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala, clay to volcanic soils. Awards: none; Offspring: none: Hybrids: none

5 Two closely related smaller subspecies of Cypripedium irapeanum: Cyp. molle, smaller yellow flowers; Cyp. dickinsonianum, yellow with red marked lip. Cypripedium guttatum Alaskan Cypripediums Cypripedium yatabeanum Loosely clumping species from slender rhizomes, 30cm tall; two wide leaves at base; single flowered inflorescence, white with purple to brown overlay. Yatabeanum has a more elongate lip than guttatum. Bloom: in mid-summer; flower size, 3x6cm. Sub- section: Bifolia Habitat: cool to cold, misty open meadows, difficult to grow but generic can be cultivated. Natural hybrid: Cyp. xalaskanum, is found in southern Alaska, Aleutian Islands and Russia. Awards: none; Offspring: guttatum (2), yatabanum (5); no awards. Comments: The dark coloration of the pouch and hooding of the dorsal sepal seems dominant in hybrids. Cultivation is difficult but possible and seedlings are available. Cypripedium reginae: The Queen or Showy Lady Slipper Tall erect herb, to 85cm, with leafy stems on short stout rhizome; leaves are ribbed and plicate; inflorescence, one (rarely 2) large white flowers, 8 x 10cm size; dorsal sepal erect or ascending; petals spreading; lip subglobose, white with overlaid pink. Habitat: upland bog, meadow, prairie and mossy wooded slopes. Forms large colonies, grows in neutral to calcareous soils. Blooms May to August. Sub- Awards: CHM 2007 four flowers on 4 inflorescences, Nat. generic: Obtusipetala spr. 7.1 cm. Offspring: 18 first and one 2nd generation, no awards. Comments: Hardy plants relatively easy to grow. Open flat form and white color is dominant in hybrids. Cypripedium passerinum: The Sparrow s Egg Slipper or Franklin s Slipper Closely related to reginae but smaller. Most northern species grows in tundra, edges of lakes on gravel washes and dunes. Impossible to grow in cultivation. Sub-generic: Obtusipetala; No awards or offspring.

6 The remaining N. American Cyp. species belong to the Sub-generic section: Cypripedium and are found across a wide band in the northern portion of the United States and Canada. They have overlapping habitats. Several natural hybrids among these species exist. Cypripedium candidum Short,12-38cm, clustered herb on short rhizome with 3 to 4 leaves per stem; inflorescence, one rarely two small globular flowers, 5x5 cm; sepals and petals greenish-yellow streaked with purple-brown; lip waxy white, purple spots on mouth, purple streaks within. Habitat: full sunlight in prairies, damp meadows, bogs with alkaline soil and water. Blooms April to June. Awards: CBR 2001 (8 flowers on 8 infl. Nat. spr. 3.7cm) Offspring: 6 first generation, no awards. Natural hybrid with parviflorum: xandrewsii. Comments: Moderately difficult to grow; pouch form and color dominate in hybrids. difficult to grow. Cypripedium montanum Tall, 25-70cm, species with 4 to 7 leaves on sturdy stems; inflorescences, 1 to rarely 3 flowers, 9x9 cm; sepals and petals, maroon brown, petals spirally twisted; white lip with yellow staminode. Habita t: sub-alpine slopes (5000 feet) and open woods; much larger flower than candidum; grows in less moist soil. Blooms April to July. Awards: JC 70 for cultivation. Offspring: 3 first generation, no awards; natural hybrid with parviflorum: xcolumbianum. Comments: very Cypripedium kentuckiense Tall, 40-70cm, species with erect stems, 5 elliptic leaves; inflorescence single flower,10x14cm; sepals and petals green mottled and striped purple; pouch creamy white to pale yellow marked within speckled purple. Habitat: mixed deciduous woodland along streams and ravines, soil sandstone, slightly acidic; blooms May to June Awards: AM 2001, HCC 1999, 2 CCM, 2 CHM, 2 JC Offspring: 17 first, 1 second generation no awards. Comments: Mode rately difficult to grow in cultivation. Offers vigor and increased size to hybrids. Natural hybrid with parviflorum: (not named) The Yellow Lady Slipper Cypripedium parviflorum:

7 Taxonomy history: In 1938 D.S.Correll placed all North American yellow-lipped slippers in a highly variable taxonomic unit as a variety of the Eurasian Cypripedium calceolus. In 1950 his Native Orchids of North America distinguished four ecological entities within his taxon, Cypripedium calceolus var. pubescens. J.T. Atwood in 1985 separated the North American species from the Eurasian. He listed: Cyp. parviflorum,(small flowered lip vertical 2-3cm), Cyp. pubescens, var. pubescens (large flowered - lip 3-5cm vertical), var. planipetalum, (intermediate size between the two) and var.. kentuckiense (now considered separate species). In 1992 C.J.Sheviak described the morphologic separation between Cyp.s calceolus and parviflorum: Cyp. calceolus has a canaliculated staminode in cross section (u shaped or trough-like) that is white and broadest near the apex. Cyp. parviflorum has a conduplicate staminode in cross section (folded like a book with flat sides) that is yellow and broadest toward the base or middle. Phillip Cribb in his The Genus Cypripedium (1997) describes the current understanding: a single species: Cypripedium parviflorum, with two varietals forms; var. pubescens and var. parviflorum. Cribb feels that too many intermediates exist to consider further separation. Cypripedium parviflorum var. parviflorum (small flowered Yellow Lady Slipper) Small, 15-35cm tall, terrestrial herb with 3 to 5 leaved stems growing from a stout short rhizome; inflorescence one to two flowered erect; flowers small, showy, fragrant; sepals and petals madder purple to maroon, petals twisted 2 to 4 times; lip yellow, obovoid with small mouth, sides may be pleated; staminode yellow with red spotting. The more northern plants tend to have suffused maroon petals and dorsal sepal (sub var. makasin) whereas the southern plants show dark color generated by closely spaced spots or speckles. Flower size: 8x6cm. Habitat: Sunny areas of calcareous fens, marshes, meadows and deciduous woodlands of east central United States and Canada; grows in drier and slightly more acid soils than var. pubescens. Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens (large flowered Yellow Lady Slipper) Tall erect herb up to 80cm often clumped on stout creeping rhizome with 3 to 5 leaves per stem; inflorescence one to two terminal flowers; sepals and petals greenish often suffused, streaked or speckled rusty brown, petals variably twisted; lip yellow with magenta spots within; staminode yellow with red spotting. Flower size 12x12 cm. A wide variation in color of sepals and petals is seen across habitat. The sub var. planipetalum is intermediate in size between var. parviflorum and pubescens and is found in Newfoundland tundra. Habitat: Very widespread across US and Canada in deciduous woods, meadows, limestone barrens; sunny to light shade. Cypripedium parviflorum forms white lipped natural hybrids with Cyp. montanum (xcolumbianum), and Cyp. candidum (xandrewsii and xfavillianum). The natural hybrids with reginae (xherae) are white with speckled pink.

8 Awards: 5 AM, 2 HCC, 4 CCM, 3 CHM, CBM, CBR (Nat. spr. 9-11cm). These may be listed under the various varietal names in AQ but are all listed in WIZ under Cyp. parviflorum. Offspring: 34 first, 3 second generation with one awarded. Comments: One of the easiest species to grow. It offers vigor, size and form to hybrids but the lip (yellow) color is not dominant. North American Cypripedium Hybrids Hybridization of worldwide Cypripediums has only developed recently. Today about 100 hybrids have been registered. This includes 6 natural hybrids, four in North America. The rest are simple primary crosses; except for 5 complex-primary crosses (hybrid crossed with species). Pure North American hybrids are fewer in number (17) and are listed in the following table on pages 8-9. Carson Whitlow (Iowa) registered the first hybrid as Cyp. Genesis (reginae x parviflorum var. pubescens) in A similar natural hybrid, Cyp. herae, has subsequently been described. The flower shows light lavender sepals and petals with off-white pouch, veined spotted reddish brown. In 1988, Whitlow registered his second hybrid, Cyp. Promises, (Chinese formosanum x acaule) which retained the color of acaule but showed intermediate form between the two species. His third hybrid, Cyp. Rascal was an accidental natural cross between his blooming kentuckiense and nearby parviflorum. In total, Carson has registered 11 hybrids mostly in the 1990s. His goal initially was to explore the feasibility of hybridization, especially the ability to germinate and grow the seedlings in flask and then transfer to terrestrial media. Subsequently, he aimed to improve flower size, color, and plant hardiness. He found that using reginae, kentuckiense, or parviflorum (esp. var. pubescens) as one parent, greatly improved ability to grow the hybrid in a variety of soils. The flower form of these N. American parents carried to progeny but pouch color was variable. Two German hybridizers have accounted for most of the recent registered hybrids. H.M. Pinkepank has registered 13 since Werner Frosch has registered 42 and is currently actively producing more as shown in his comprehensive website: I breed for vigorous, disease resistant, decorative hybrids that are marketable and suitable for garden use (personal communication). His hybrids are seen throughout Europe at garden shows. They are just now becoming available in US as Frosch Cyp. hybrids. A number of hybrids have been registered under specific epithets that have subsequently been reclassified under parentage grouped according to the Kew Monocot Checklist nomenclature. As an example, hybrids of the North American Yellow Lady Slipper may list Cyp. calceolus, pubescens, parviflorum, plantipetalum, maksin, or any varietal form of the preceeding as a parent. Two registered hybrids, Cyp. Lothar Pinkepank and Cyp. Rascal are the same cross (Cyp. parviflorum x kentuckiense) but Lothar Pinkepank lists pubescens as one parent s name. At least 8 different hybrids have been registered for the Chinese Cyp. macranthos x Cyp parviflorum cross.

9 North American Cypripedium Hybrids: (Hybrids listed twice for ease of reference) Parentage Parentage Hybrid Color acaule pubescens January Sunshine? reginae Prof. Karl Robatsch white xandrewsii montanum A lois white candidu m parviflorum xandrewsii white pubescens xfavillianum white to yellow yatabeanum W erner white spk brown ca lifornicum reginae W arren white,pale pink kentuckiense Robin Lee pale yellow pubescens Otmar Riegler? gu ttatum reginae Er ich Maier white, spk red yatabeanum xalaskan um cream, brown ke ntuckiense parviflorum Rascal yellow pubescens Lo thar Pinkepank yellow, white reginae Irene white, spk red m ontanum xandrewsii A lois white parviflorum Sebastia n white pubescens xcolumbianum white, pale yellow pa rviflorum candidum xa ndrewsii white kentuckiense Rascal yellow montanum Sebastian white pa sserinum reginae R heinsberg Sparrow Egg white, light pink pu bescens acaule January Sunshine? candidum xfavillianu m yellow, white kentuckiense Lo thar Pinkepank yellow montanum xcolumbianum white reginae G enesis white, spk pink

10 reginae ya tabeanum acaule Prof. Karl Rob atsch white californicum Warren white,pale pink guttatum Erich Maier white, spk red kentuckiense Irene white, spk red passerinum R heinsberg Sparrow Egg white, light pink pubescens Genesis white, spk pink candidum Werner white spk brown guttatum xalask anum cream, brown The 17 pure North American primary hybrids are mostly white or yellow in color with some speckling of pink to red on the pouch. Hybrids of the sub-generic section, Cypripedium (parviflorum, montanum, candidum, kentuckiense) tend to retain their darker sep als, petals and petal twist. Cyp. kentickiense imparts sturdiness to the plant and increased size to the f lower. Also, the dorsal sepal leans forward and the pouch may be as large as a hen s egg with striations of brown with kentuckiense hybrids. A recent hybrid, Cyp. Alois, combines three species montanum x andrewsii Cyp. Alois (candidum and parviflorum). The larger flower size of montanum prevails with bulbous white pouch and variable yellow-green to brown sepals and petals with less twist. Cyp. reginae hybrids impart open flat form and a more rounded pouch to offspring. Unfortunately, the pink-red pouch color often fades to white, even when crossed with another pink as in Cyp. Karl Robatsch (reginae x acaule). Yellow lipped offspring require parviflorum crossed with kentuckiense or with the Eurasian cousin Cyp. calceolus. Cyp. parvifloru m var. pubescens imparts the larger size to the yellow hybrids. To date the only North American pink hybrids are Cyp. Rheinsbern Sparrow Egg (reginae x passerinum) and Cyp. Irene (reginae x kentuckiense). In both, the predominate color of the pouch remains white. Because of the limitations in color of the above hybrids, new hybridization with a wide variety of Chinese and Asian Cypripediums crossed to the hardy N. American species has yielded larger cream to pink to maroon flowers that will grow in a variety of garden soils. In fact, the most common parent used in hybridization to date is the Chinese Cyp. macranthos with over 40 offspring registered. Cyp. macranthos x reginae (Anne 08) gives a nice rounded homogeneous purple flower. When macranthos is crossed with parviflorum, the sepals and petals are red-pink with the pouch cream to pink with striations. From this last cross comes the only AOS quality award: Cyp. Gisela Fontaine HCC/AOS (One flower Nat. spr. 7.6 cm by 4.6cm, cream colored; sepals with plum stripes, petals twisted, pouch cream colored with plum interior and spotted exterior). An AD/AOS was given to a different plant in 2002 recognizing an unusual cross of considerable horticultural merit.

11 Cyp. macranthos x Cyp. parviflorum crosses present a problem in nomenclature as at least 8 different hybrids have been registered depending on the varietal name used for the two species. The first hybrid registered was Maria in 1991 (pariflorum x speciosum syn, macranthos). Orchid Wiz lists all the other later hybrids with Maria in parenthesis. Significant size and color variation exists within this cross; the larger hybrid named Cyp. Aki. (pubescens x macranthos). As some of these hybrids are used in further crosses, this confusion with nomenclature will only increase. New hybrids listed since 2004 continue to show more exotic Asian Cyps. crossed with the North American hardy species: Cyp. Berni (reginae x fargesii) flat white with open plum lip, Cyp John (parviflorum x yunnanense) cream with maroon stripes and twisted petals; Cyp. Bill (parviflorum x tibeticum) essentially a mottled red kentuckiense; Cyp Maria Handlbauer (reginae x corrugatum) large op en white with deep maroon pouch; Cyp Sunshine (flavum x parviflorum) radiant all yellow. Judging comments for North American Cypripediums and Hybrids: Flower quality awards: Use the paphiopedilum scale for 1 2 flowered inflorescences; Use the general scale for multiflorals (californicum and fasciculatum). With the current paucity of awards recorded to date, considerable potential for improved flower quality awards should exist. Much will depend on presentation of plants or cut flowers f or judging in the May to July time period. As hardy hybrids become more popular in perennial gardens, dug-up or in ground potted plants may be presented for judging. Cultural awards: Special consideration should be given to the known difficulty of cultivation of presented plants, especially the native species. A watchful eye is needed to recognize a species removed from its natural habitat simply for judging as it likely will not survive! Cultural expertise can be shown by presenting plants in bloom at times other than their natural blooming cycle (forcing the bloom early). Horticultural and Botanical awards: A significant potential exists for expanding these awards for a number of yet unrecognized North American species. Over half of the current awards for all Cypripediums fall into this classification to date. Cypripedium Hybrids: Understanding the variation in naming of the parents of the cross is extremely important in order to be able to compare the presented flower with similar but different named hybrids. Mutliple registered hybrids exist with the same or only varietal differences in their parents. Hybrids with a parent of the Eurasian Cyp calceolus should be considered separate from those with a parent of the North American Cyp. parviflorum. Hybrids with North American parent labeled Cyp calceolus should be considered as having the same parent as those of Cyp. parviflorum

12 Hybrids with parent or parental variety listed as pubescens, makasin, plantipetalum, or parviflorum should be considered the same as Cyp parviflorum (var. pubescens and var. parviflorum) Orchid Wiz does an excellent job of referencing all the hybrids back to the currently accepted parentage. AQ unfortunately is not as complete and still lists the varietal names as the sorting parameter for the cross. REFERENCES AQ plus 3.2.1; American Orchid Society, 2008 Correll, Donovan, Native American Lady s-slippers, The Orchid Journal, Vol. 11, No. 4: , 1953 Cribb, Phillip; The Genus Cypripedium, Timber Press, 1997 Frosch, Werner; Frosch s Cypripedium Website, Frosch, Werner; Forum Cypripedium, Frosch, Werner; personal communication and permission to use website photos Keenan, Phillip; A Short History of the Genus Cypripedium, North American Native Orchid Journal. Vol. 6, No. 1, 43-56, 2000 Nelson, Tom; Growing Cypripediums in the Garden, Orchids, Vol. 74, No. 10, 729, 2005 Orchid Wiz Encyclopedia 5.02, 2008 Robinson, Owen; A New Take on Cypripedium Hybrids, Orchids Vol.71, No.12: , 2002 Rohri, Helmut; Cypripediums, manuscript, 2007 Sheviak, Charles; Cypripedium parviflorum Salisb: The Small Flowered Varieties, AOS Bulletin Vol.63, No.6: , 1994 Sheviak, Charles; Cypripedium parviflorum Salisb: The Larger-flowered Plants and Patterns of Variation, AOS Bulletin Vol. 64, No.6: , 1995 Sheviak, Charles; Cypripedium Hybrids in the Russian Far East: The Red Influence, Orchids, Nov. 1996, , Dec. 1996, Sheviak, Charles; Natural Hybridization Between Cypripedium Montanum and Its Yellow-lipped Relative, AOS Bulletin Vo. 61, No. 6: , 1992 Whitlow, Carson; The Genesis of Cypripedium Hybrids, AOS Bulletin Vol.57, No.8:

13 , 1988 Whitlow, Carson; Cypripedium Hybridizing, Orchid Digest, 37-38, Jan Whitlow, Carson; personal communication PHOTOS Pictures used with permission from Werner Frosch, AQ (subscription), Orchid Wiz (subscription), published articles in Orchids & AOS Bulletin, personal collection Special Thanks Mentors: Suki Nax and Larry Sexton and Herman Pigors for German translation

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