Pink and White Lady's Slipper
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
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.
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
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
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.
"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
- Common Names:
Lady's-slipper and queen
- 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
- 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.
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.
Plantae -- Plants
Tracheobionta -- Vascular
Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Magnoliophyta – Flowering
Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Orchidaceae – Orchid family
Cypripedium L. – lady's
Walt. – showy lady's slipper