Ontario Wildflowers website

Calypso bulbosa

Calypso (Calypso bulbosa) Other common names: Fairy Slipper

Other scientific names: Calypso borealis, Cypripedium bulbosa, Cythera bulbosa

French names: Calypso bulbeux

Family: Orchid Family (Orchidaceae)

Group: Orchids

Flowers: Spring;  White, Red/Pink, Blue/Violet;  Irregular flowers

Leaves: Basal Only, Simple, Entire;  Single round basal leaf which may not be present when plant is flowering.

Height: 5-10 cm (2-4 in)

Habitat: Wet Areas;  Deep coniferous woods.

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 20    Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers: 214    ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario: 86   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Rare.

Notes: This is quite a rare orchid. It is easily overlooked due to its small size.

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: bulbosa: bulbous; swollen

Photographs: 407 photographs available, of which 11 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Calypso (Calypso bulbosa) flower

Calypso has spectacular flowers. They can be white, as shown here.

Calypso (Calypso bulbosa) flower

The flowers can also be blue or purple.

Calypso (Calypso bulbosa) flower

Side view of Calypso flowers.

Calypso (Calypso bulbosa) flower

Yet these spectacular flowers are very small!

Calypso (Calypso bulbosa) plant

Calypso are easily missed while walking in the woods. Here is a human eye view of a Calypso plant. Small!

Calypso (Calypso bulbosa) flower

Calypso (Calypso bulbosa) flower

Calypso (Calypso bulbosa) flower

Calypso (Calypso bulbosa) flower

Calypso (Calypso bulbosa) plant

The flowering stalk is sometimes accompanied by a single leaf.
This leaf grows during the fall, stays over the winter under the snow, and dies off after or during flowering.

Calypso (Calypso bulbosa) plant

A nice view of the flower along with the single leaf.

Range map for Calypso (Calypso bulbosa)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)