USA Official State Flower Official Minnesota State Flower

Pink and White Lady's Slipper

(Cypripedium reginae)
Adopted in1893.


The pink and white lady slipper, Cypripedium reginae,  was adopted as the state flower in 1893. It is one of Minnesota's rarest wildflowers. Thriving in swamps, bogs, and damp woods, they grow slowly, taking 4 to 16 years to produce their first flower. Sometimes they live for 50 years and grow four feet tall. They bloom in late June or early July. It is illegal to pick the lady slipper.



In 1990, Governor Rudy Perpich declared 81 miles of Highway 11 a Minnesota Wildflower Route, in honor of the hundreds of thousands of Showy Lady's-Slippers growing within sight of the road. The town of Williams held a celebration of the event, which became an annual Wildflower Day. The state put up signs depicting the Showy Lady's-Slipper to mark the route, and pledged to expand the highway only to the south, protecting the masses of Showies Lady's-Slippers on the north side of the road.


MINNESOTA State Flower: Pink-and-white lady slipper (Cypripedium reginae); adopted 1893.
Also known as showy lady slipper.

Statutory citation: Minn. Stat. 1.142

1893 resolution 4 February 1893 (appears in Senate Journal, but not among joint resolutions in 1893 Laws). Resolution mistakenly designated the wild lady slipper or moccasin flower, Cypripedium calceolus, which does not actually grow in Minnesota.
1902 resolution 19 February 1902 (appears in Senate Journal, p. 68, but not among joint resolutions in 1902 Laws).
Corrected part of the previous misnomer, replacing Cypripedium calceolus with Cypripedium reginae, but neglecting to remove the term moccasin flower, which designates a different, though related, flower.
1967 Minn. Laws Chap. 291 Sec. 1 (HF1684)
Protected pursuant to 1925 Minn. Laws Chap. 409 (amended 1935 Minn. Laws Chap. 100).
Sources of additional information:

"State flower called fake," Minneapolis Tribune, 2 Feb. 1902, p. 6.
"Minnesota's State Flower: Queen of Lady Slippers," Minnesota Heritage Series, No. 2.
1.142 State flower.
Subdivision 1. Lady slipper. The pink and white lady slipper, Cypripedium reginae, is the official flower of the state of Minnesota.
Subd. 2. Photograph. A photograph of the pink and white lady slipper, obtained and approved by the commissioner of natural resources, shall be preserved in the office of the secretary of state.
HIST: 1967 c 291 s 1; 1969 c 1129 art 3 s 1; 1984 c 628 art 1 s 1
Copyright 2002 by the Office of Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota.
  • Common Names: Lady's-slipper and queen lady's-slipper
  • Plant: Fairly large plant, grows to 18" tall, has large leaves, arising from a rhizome with a fascicle of numerous fibrous roots several to many stems may arise from the same rootstock.
  • Leaves: Leaves are a light green colour and 3-5, ovate, plicate, 10-25 cm long and 4-16 cm wide; densely pubescent.
  • Flowers: 1-2(3), each subtended by a lanceolate green foliaceous bract 6-14 cm long by 3-7 cm wide.
  • Sepals: Apparently two (the result of the fusion of the two lateral sepals behind the labellum), white; dorsal sepal ovate to obovate, 3-5 cm long and 2-3.5 cm wide; lateral sepals united, white, ovate, 3-5 cm long and 1.5-3.5 cm wide.
  • Petals: Blooms are white with a reddish-purple pouch. 2.5-4 cm long and 1-1.5 cm wide.
  • Labellum: Pouch-shaped, inflated, spherical (or nearly so), 2.5-5.5 cm long, opening above with inrolled edges; white suffused with deep rose to magenta, the veins often being white; rarely the whole being white or rose.
  • Hardiness. Zones 3 to 8 This is a genuinely "queenly" plant, as the species name "reginae" suggests. It is among the more easily grown of our native lady's slippers, provided you understand its needs.

Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass Liliidae –
Order Orchidales –
Family Orchidaceae – Orchid family
Genus Cypripedium L. – lady's slipper
Species Cypripedium reginae Walt. – showy lady's slipper