<%@ Language=JavaScript %> Wildflowers of the Northwest -- Calypso
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Latin Name:

Calypso bulbosa

Common Name(s):

Calypso, Fairy Slipper, Deer's Head Orchid, Cytherea, Venus Slipper, Pink Slipper Orchid

Family Name:



3-8 inches tall

Flower Size:

1-2 inches long

Flower Shape:



Pink/Lavender ()


A single, mostly pink orchid flower that sits atop an errect red stalk. It has a single basal leaf. The flower has a main pouchlike lower lip common to orchids, and is spotted with dark purple and yellow markings. Around the lower lip are 5 narrow, pointed pink sepals/petals. (The back three are sepals, and the front 2 are petals, interestingly enough).


Calypso is named after the nymph who seduced Odysseus/Ulysses. The name is probably due to the fact that both hide in the woods (Calypso means "concealment" in Greek), although I most admit that I am seduced both by the flower's beauty and by its fragrance.


Very shady, cool mossy forests with rich soil, lower to middle elevations.

Blooming Season:


Related Flowers:

Lady Slippers

Similar Flowers:

Lady Slippers

I am always delighted to come upon a calypso, sprouting in such solitary on the forest floor. Though they are found throughout North America, they are still a treat to find and are becoming increasingly rare to find. Regardless, I always think that I have found something special when I see them. They hardly ever grow in strong "packs", following their namesake by preferring to hide individually amongst the trees. 

Calypso bulbosa
Calypso family


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