Cyp parviflorum

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2006
Reaction score
Edmonton, AB, Canada
I bought this one from Hole's Greenhouse & Garden :) They had other cyps too, but this species was only $25. Cyps can cost a lot!
It was labelled Cypripedium calceolus. I think I can safely relabel it as Cyp parviflorum because I doubt it is the Cyp calceolus from Europe, but rather North American parviflorum which would be more readily available. (I hope I am correct with relabelling it.) I wonder which variety it can be. Each growth only has four leaves not including the sheath. The petals were much more horizontal, but I think they drooped because of the long ride. I purposely looked for horizontal petals and there was another greenish coloured one that had a even larger petal span but I preferred the colour contast of this darker one. This plant is slightly taller than the other ones too.
I'm suprised how small the pot it is growing in. I thought they needed bigger pots. I'm also suprised how many photos I needed to take because the pouch is too shiny in most photos. The pouch is slighty speckled with red at the front, base and more inside.

Hey Fren,

You're right - those are definately not C. calceolus! All the yellow Cyps at Hole's (except Emil) are parviflorum var. pubescens from what I've seen (var. parviflorum is very small in comparison and the tepals are usually much darker). That's a nice one! Cyps are so awesome!
Thanks for the ID:)
I have updated the name on the image.

Now after the blooms are finished, is it safe to unpot the plant and move it into something bigger? I haven't measured but I think the current pot a 6 inch square pot.

Do you plan to plant it in the ground? If so, just plant it straight in the ground after it finishes blooming. You don't want to disturb these guys too much - if they get stressed they won't bloom for a season or two. If not, then you may want to wait until the plant goes dormant to pot up. I'm not too experienced in pot culture for these though so hopefully someone can back me up! :)
I plan to have it in a pot that is sunk into the ground. I might just sink this pot into the ground or pop it into a larger pot without disturbing the clump. I should have the pot sunk into the ground soon since the sun can heat up the roots in such a small container.

Do you think these plants were wild collected? Not as poached, but rescued plants.
Cyp parviflorum var parviflorum - small growth habit, smaller flowers, usually, but not always, dark sepals. Fragrance is rank, with a rancid butter note present in it. In IA, WI, IL, MN & MI tends to grow in sphagnum in open areas of bogs. Very sunny areas, but also quite wet. Other habitats may occur in other states, but these are habitat areas I have seen or read about.

Cyp parviflorum var pubescens - medium growth habit (distinctly larger than type form) larger flowers, sepals vary from very pale to very dark. Fragrance is usually quite sweet and quite strong, a wonderful fruity smell, similar to Apriocot or Mango or Peach. Habitats tend to be edge of forests, well back from bogs and other swampy areas. A distinctly shadier habitat than the type form. Though they do need a fair amount of light. I don't mean deep shade as for ferns.

Cyp calceolus - the similar but unrelated European species

Now I am not 100% sure this is taxonomically definative, but this is how I keep them separate. Fragrance seems the easiest way to quickly tell potted plants apart.
For what it's worth, I've never encountered a pubescens with a noticable fragrance. However, I'm in the far southeast of its range, so there could be geographic variances. I would agree with others in that Fren's plant is pubescens.
kentuckiense said:
For what it's worth, I've never encountered a pubescens with a noticable fragrance.

Kentuckiense, I own some pubescens that have quite a noticeable rose-like fragrance (not as nice as parviflorum's though) and some that have none. I think it varies from plant to plant. However, I live in the northern part of its range so your theory about geography very likely has something to do with it.

Fren, all of Hole's Cyps are nursery propagated (or at least that's what they've told me). I've never had problems with them; they seem to be high-quality rhizomes.

I repotted it into something bigger even though it was in bloom. The 5 inch pot was way too small, and getting too warm. The plant wasn't very deep rooted because the bottom inch of the media did not hold together. I did not see any roots at the edge of the pot and I left it undisturbed, so the root mass would have been all tangled up in the middle I assume.
I was suprised at how organic looking the media was, since I was told cyp growers usually prefer inorganic substances. I put it into a 8 inch pot, and filled the spaces with maily sand and perlite, aquarium gravel, garden lime, potting soil, orchid bark. I think it will need to be repotted again one day since they have a spread of 12 inches according to the label. I will soon sink it into the ground once I find a place for it.
Hey Fren,

There are an infinite number of different soil mixes that can be used for Cyps; it all depends on the grower's preference. They do need some nutrients though (especially reginae if you ever try one of those and the hybrids), so if you use a mainly inert mix you'll need to fertilize lightly and frequently. For pubescens I would use Miracle-Gro for perennials at 1/4 strength every week or so in your mix.

Happy growing!

k I think I will have to fertilize my reginae then....
I'm not sure how fast they are supposed to grow once they are out of dormancy, my buds is still small, I think I will be getting three growths. I used more of the potting soil for my reginae because I think I read somewhere they like more organics. Today I added more lime on the top just incase the potting soil become acidic.
I had my lab grown reginae shipped from ontario and kept it in my fridge, cheaper than the ones listed in Hole's catalogue. I didn't see any at Hole's but maybe they weren't in bloom and I missed them

Yes reginae likes an organic soil, lots of nutrients and lots of moisture. I recommend adding PRO-MIX HP (which you can buy at Rona) to some compost and potting soil, and add some orchid bark and sand, maybe some gravel too. You don't want the mix to get too wet! While it likes moisture, it can easily rot in wet soil. It also likes a neutral to slightly alkaline soil. If you already have it potted though, don't disturb it too much; your mix is probably fine as long as you don't overwater. C. reginae breaks dormancy later than other Cyps; mine are just starting to peek up while my other Cyps are leafing out. When it starts leafing out you'll want to fertilize it just as you would with common garden perennials, which is a lot for Cyps but trust me it works.

Thanks Joe, You have taught me a lot!:)

My reginae is in a 12 inch pot and in another sand and perlite based mix, but with more potting soil. I will wait for the leaves before ferilizing it then.

I think I will put the parviflorum in between two conifers where it will get eastern sun half the day. I was going to put it with the reginae in a new shaded flower bed that I'm just starting (western sun), but the parviflorum looks very good with the conifers. I hope I can dig a hole to fit the pot without hitting a tree roots.

And from Hole's I bought an apple tree and that pot will be large enough to fit a large clump of cyp one day. The clay soils underneath make be want to use pots that are at least 12 inches deep because I hear clay doesn't drain enough
You've got all the right ideas Fren! Those are perfect locations for those two species. I've found that parviflorum gets burned in hot western sun, but reginae is usually fine due to its very hairy leaves. You're going to have some awesome Cyps! :)


Latest posts