Hillside Nursery

Growers of Lady-Slipper Orchids and select Woodland Wildflowers.

Cypripedium Orchids

Cypripediums (Lady-Slippers)

Lady-Slippers (Cypripedium) are a stunning group of hardy orchids, and one of the easiest of the hardy orchids to grow. In the shade garden they put on a yearly show that is unmatched - a celebration of spring that often stops one in one's tracks. Their blooms are ancient and seem to have the power to stir something deep inside us.

For many years, and even today, there persists the notion that lady-slipper orchids are too difficult to grow and should be left to the experts. With the availability of nursery propagated plants, (and when one starts with plants from a reliable source) this is no longer the case. With proper care in planting and site location (as with any perennial you value), Lady-Slippers will not only grow, but over time will form large clumps which tend to be very long-lived.

If you're interested in trying to grow lady-slippers but are unsure, we recommend starting with one of the easier forms and then see how it goes for you. Of our list below all are relatively easy except for Cyp. reginae. Much of our business over the years has been from repeat customers, many of whom have started slow and have gone on to build large collections.

Please Note: These are NOT tropical orchids.

If you're not sure what zone you live in check here.

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Cypripedium candidum

Cypripedium candidum

SMALL WHITE LADY-SLIPPER

Cypripedium candidum is a North American native. A little smaller than a yellow lady-slipper flower, it has a white pouch and greenish -yellow tendrils streaked with brown.

Zones 3-6. 16-24 in. Light shade, cool moist rich well-drained alkaline soil.

We are offering 2 sizes:

  • Blooming-sized Sold out plants have at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root system.
  • Near-Blooming plants have a well-developed root system and are at least 1-2 years away from blooming.
Near Blooming-sized - $16.00  
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Cypripedium Candidum In Bed

 
Cypripedium kentuckiense

Cypripedium kentuckiense

KENTUCKY LADY-SLIPPER or SOUTHERN LADY-SLIPPER

The largest flowered of all the Cyps, with pale yellow blooms on tall stems. The last to bloom for us, starting here in late May into June, lasting for one-and-a-half to three weeks, depending on weather conditions. One of the easiest to grow, over time. C. kentuckiense will form large clumps and persist for years. A native of Kentucky and ranging south to Louisiana, it can be grown successfully as far north as Zone 3. It is the most tolerant of high summer soil temperatures. In the wild it is found growing in rich neutral moist-but-well-drained soil.

Zones 4-8. 16-30 in. Light shade, moist rich well-drained soil, with approximately neutral pH.

We are offering 2 sizes:

  • Blooming-sized plants have at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root system.
  • Near-Blooming plants have a well-developed root system and are at least 1-2 years away from blooming.

 

  View additional images here

Near-flowering sized - $16.00  
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Cypripedium Kentuckiense (close)
Cypripedium Kentuckiense (closer)
Cypripedium Kentuckiense (group)
Cypripedium Kentuckiense (large Group)

 
Cypripedium pubescens

Cypripedium pubescens

LARGE YELLOW LADY-SLIPPER

Large deep-yellow flowers with long yellow-to-brown corkscrew lateral petals. Probably the easiest native orchid to grow, it will form large clumps of over 20 blooms in time when happy. It is the first species cyp to bloom in late April or early May here for us, blooming over a 2-3 week period. Native from Minnesota to the Canadian Maritimes in the north, and south from Missouri to Georgia. In the south it is usually found in cool rich woods and coves where there is shade most of the day, though in the north it is often found in more open conditions, sometimes in full sun. In the wild it grows in both sub-acid and circumneutral soil, and with a more moderate moisture supply than the other Lady-slippers.

Zones 3-7. 14-24 in. Light to part shade, moist rich well-drained soil, with approximately neutral pH.

We are offering 2 sizes:

  • Extra Large (XL) Blooming-sized plants have at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root system.
  • SOLD OUT Near-Blooming plants have a well-developed root system and are at least 1-2 years away from blooming.
View additional images here
X-Large - $44.00  
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Cypripedium Pubescens (close Up) 3
Cypripedium Pubescens (close Up) 2
Cypripedium Pubescens (close Up)
Cypripedium Pubescens (clump Top View)

 
Cypripedium reginae pink

Cypripedium reginae

SHOWY LADY-SLIPPER

Elegant rose-pink and white flowers. Blooms here for us in late May into June starting just before C. kentuckiense. Large plants may offer a succession of blooms lasting up to three weeks. Not the easiest of the lady-slippers to grow, but really not that difficult if given the right placement. Native from Newfoundland to Saskatchewan, North Dakota, and as far south as Missouri and Alabama. Historically a disjunct community was reported in western China. In the wild it is usually found growing in cool moist-to-wet neutral or limestone soils in open fens and bog (always above the water table), as well as moist rich wooded slopes and around seeps. When found in wet sites the conditions are highly oxygenated, never stagnant.

Zones 3-7. 18-30 in. Part sun, moist rich well-drained neutral soil that does not dry out. High open shade, cool moist (but not wet or stagnant) soil, with around a neutral pH. We are offering 4 to 5 year old plants that should bloom the first year but may require an additional year.

A tip for handling this plant: The short coarse leaf hairs of the Showy Lady-slipper are reported to cause dermatitis similar to poison ivy for some people. Although we have never had a problem or know anyone that has, care may be advised in handling plants during the summer growing season.

We are offering XL Blooming-sized plants with with at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root systems. View additional images here

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Cypripedium Reginae Pink (front)
Cypripedium Reginae Pink (garden 1)
Cypripedium Reginae Pink (garden 2)
Cypripedium Reginae Pink (nursery Bed)

 

Cypripediums: Hybrids (Hybrid Lady-slippers)

While the purists often gravitate to growing the species, there's a lot to be said for the value of hybrids in the garden. All the same qualities of the species still apply here but, for many, we also have the addition of some new colors along with hybrid vigor. 

We are also really excited about a number of new multi-cross hybrids coming along.  These plants have exceptional vigor which makes them a bit easier to grow in the garden.  

Cypripedium 'Aki '

Cypripedium 'Aki'

(C. macranthos x C. pubescens)

This hybrid form tends to have very large flowers with light pink pouches and burgundy and cream streaked petals and sepals. Flower size and color does vary somewhat. We have seen some variation in our new batches that include light and dark pink, even some creamy yellow streaked with pink. It is the first to bloom here at the nursery with C. 'Gisela' flowering just behind it.

Zones 3-6. 16-24 in. Light shade, cool moist rich well-drained soil.

We are offering 2 sizes:

  • Blooming-sized plants have at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root system.
  • Near-Blooming plants have a well-developed root system and are at least 1-2 years away from blooming.
Blooming-sized - $36.00  
Near blooming-sized - $16.00  
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Cypripedium 'Aki '  (growing In Bed 2)
Cypripedium 'Aki '  (close Up)
Cypripedium 'Aki '  (growing In Bed)

 
Cypripedium anna beckman

Cypripedium 'Anna Beckman'

Cypripedium kentuckiense x C. x columbianum (where x columbianum = C. montanum x C. pubescens)

This is a new tripple cross for us. We didn't get a good picture this spring, but we did have some bloom and the pouch is a very light yellow with light brown tendrils. It is a medium sized bloom that emerges mid-season between the early varieties like Gisela and the later varieties like C. kentuckiense and C. reginae.

Zones 4-7. 12-16 in. Light shade, cool, moist, rich well-drained soil.

We are offering 2 sizes:

  • Blooming-sized plants have at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root system.
  • Near-Blooming plants have a well-developed root system and are at least 1-2 years away from blooming.
Blooming-sized - $36.00  
Near Blooming-sized - $16.00  
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Cypripedium Anna Beckman 1

 
Cypripedium franklin

Cypripedium 'Franklin'

Cypripedium x columbianum x C. macranthos (where x columbianum = C. montanum x C. pubescens)

We love the multiple crosses because of the vigor and ease of growing they provide. This is another new tripple cross three very nice plants. The result is a medium-sized light pink bloom with darker pink tendrils.

Zones 4-6. 12-16 in. Light shade, cool, moist, rich well-drained soil.

We are offering 2 sizes:

  • SOLD OUT Blooming-sized plants have at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root system.
  • Near-Blooming plants have a well-developed root system and are at least 1-2 years away from blooming.
Near Blooming-sized - $16.00  
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Cypripedium Gisela regular

Cypripedium 'Gisela'

(C. macranthos x C. parviflorum)

Registered in 1991, this hybrid has proven the test of time. It has that robust hybrid vigor, and is just maybe the easiest cyp to grow. The flower buds start out yellow, then turn burgundy red with varying streaks of creamy yellow as they mature. The petals and sepals are a deep burgundy with a touch of yellow. To see some of the variation in color click 'view additional images here' below.

Zones 3-6. 12-16 in. Light shade, cool moist rich well-drained soil.

We are offering Near-Blooming-sized plants have a well-developed root system and are at least 1-2 years away from blooming.

  View additional images here

$16.00 Qty:
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Cypripedium Gisela Regular (2)
Cypripedium Gisela Regular (3)
Cypripedium Gisela Regular (4)
Cypripedium Gisela Regular (growing In Garden)

 
Cypripedium joyce

Cypripedium 'Joyce'

Cypripedium x flavillinianum x C. macranthos (where x flavillinianum = C. pubescens x C. candidum)

Another tripple cross hybrid. We've seen it flower a couple years now and it's a very nice plant with good vigor. There is some variation among the flowers, but for the most part it is a medium-sized light to dark pink slightly elongated slipper with darker pink tendrils.

Zones 4-6. 12-16 in. Light shade, cool, moist, rich well-drained soil.

We are offering 2 sizes:

  • Blooming-sized plants have at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root system.
  • Near-Blooming plants have a well-developed root system and are at least 1-2 years away from blooming.
Blooming-sized - $36.00  
Near Blooming-sized - $16.00  
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Cypripedium Michael regular

Cypripedium 'Michael'

(C. henryi x C. macranthos)

This is a hybrid between the purple-flowered C. macranthos and the yellow tri-flowered C. henryi. Many of the plants are bi-flowered and there are a few tri-flowered plants, in colors of soft creamy yellows to light pinks,also mixed pink and yellow---all are nice.

Zones 5-6. 12-16 in. Light shade, cool moist well-drained soil with lime added and a mulch cover.

We are offering 2 sizes:

  • Blooming-sized plants have at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root system.
  • Near-Blooming plants have a well-developed root system and are at least 1-2 years away from blooming.
View additional images here
Blooming-sized - $36.00  
Near Blooming-sized - $16.00  
Qty:
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Cypripedium Michael Regular (group Side View)
Cypripedium Michael Regular (close)
Cypripedium Michael Regular (group)
Cypripedium Michael Regular (in Growing Bed)

 
Cypripedium PK

Cypripedium 'PK'

'C. pubescens x C. kentuckiense'

The pubescens kentuckiense cross is a nice vigorous yellow hybrid that is great for beginner and experienced cypripedium gardeners alike. What one might imagine the flower to look like given the two parent plants' flowers, is fairly accurate. It is a little bigger than pubescens with dark tendrils like kentuckiense, but mostly maintains the pouch color of the pubescens.

Zones 4-7. 12-16 in. Light shade, cool, moist, rich well-drained soil.

We are offering 2 sizes:

  • SOLD OUT Blooming-sized plants have at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root system.
  • Near-Blooming plants have a well-developed root system and are at least 1-2 years away from blooming.

 

Near Blooming-sized - $16.00  
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Cypripedium Sarah Louise

Cypripedium 'Sarah Louise'

(C. Ulla Silkens x C. reginae)

Sarah Louise has reginae back-crossed into Ulla Silkens, which is C. flavum x C. reginae. I like trying back-crosses and this one has done well. It has maintained the strong growth habit of the first cross and has produced a wide range of blooms -- from pure white to light pink, white with pink spotting, all the way to deep pink. Easier to grow than straight C. reginae, these will form large clumps reaching up to 36 inches tall. This is an end-of-the-season bloomer.

Zones 3-6. 30-36 in. Light shade, cool moist rich well-drained soil.

We are offering Blooming-sized plants with at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root system.

Please be aware that with C.reginae and its crosses, it is very hard to tell if a plant is going to re-bloom in the coming season simply by looking at the dormant plant in the fall. We do our best to pick blooming plants, but they are not guaranteed to bloom.

$36.00 Sold Out
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Cypripedium Sarah Louise (contrasted)
Cypripedium Sarah Louise (clump)
Cypripedium Sarah Louise (budded)

 
Cypripedium selston

Cypripedium 'Selston'

New!
(C. fasciolatum x C. candidum)

This is a new hybrid we're offering this year. It has a creamy flower with maroon tendrils. It's new to us, but seems relatively easy to grow and vigorous.

Zones 4-6. 12-16 in. Light shade, cool moist well-drained soil with lime added and a mulch cover.

We are offering 2 sizes:

  • Blooming-sized plants have at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root system.
  • Near-Blooming plants have a well-developed root system and are at least 1-2 years away from blooming.
Blooming-sized - $36.00  
Near Blooming-sized - $16.00  
Qty:
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Cypripedium Victoria

Cypripedium 'Victoria'

(C. pubescens x C. fasciolatum)

This yellow lady-slipper is a striking plant. It has a bit of a bigger pouch than C. pubescens and is a creamier yellow color. The tendrils are a nice burgundy.

Zones 4-7. 12-16 in. Light shade, cool moist rich well-drained soil.

We are offering Extra Large (XL) Blooming-sized plants have at least one large blooming stem and well-developed root system.

$44.00 Qty:
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Cypripedium Victoria (example 2)
Cypripedium Victoria (closer)
Cypripedium Victoria (parent Plants)