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Calypso bulbosa - (L.)Oakes.

Common Name Fairyslipper
Family Orchidaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Soils rich with decaying leaves and wood, in moist pine or spruce woods and by cool shady streams from sea level to the mid-montane zone[60, 155].
Range N. Europe, N. America - Alaska to California, east to New York.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Calypso bulbosa Fairyslipper


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Calypso_bulbosa_Nordens_Flora_416.jpg
Calypso bulbosa Fairyslipper
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Calypso bulbosa is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in leaf from October to July, in flower from May to June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

C. borealis. Cytherea bulbosa.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses:

Bulb - raw or cooked[22, 46, 61, 105, 155]. Rather small[161]. The corms have a rich, butter-like quality[256]. They were usually boiled by the North American Indians before being eaten, though young maidens would eat them raw as they were believed to increase the size of the bust[256].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antispasmodic

The bulbs have been chewed or the flowers sucked in the treatment of mild epilepsy[257].

References

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

Grows well in half shade in a light moist organic-rich soil[1, 42, 200]. Requires a lime-free soil, doing best in full shade[42]. The plant comes into growth in the autumn and, although fairly hardy, is best grown in a frame or unheated greenhouse[230]. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid[230]. Plants can be naturalized in the woodland or bog garden[200]. Apply a good organic mulch in the winter[1]. Plants do not always grow every year, the bulb can remain dormant in the soil for 2 years[42].

References

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - we have no information on this species but, like all members of the orchid family, the seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil[200]. Surface sow the seed, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division in autumn. Make sure that you keep plenty of soil with each plant. It is also said to be possible to transplant orchids after they have flowered but whilst they are still in leaf. Grow on for at least the first year before potting up and do not plant out until the plants are 2 - 4 years old. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade[230]. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers[230]. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower[230]. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally[230].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)Oakes.

Botanical References

50200270

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

calypsogrower   Sun Oct 14 2007

Hi, I really enjoyed this page. I have a question. Are the cultivation details meant to be specific to Calypso? If so I have never seen a rosette. Calypso has one leaf per bulb. Thanks, Calypsogrower

The Calypso Orchid Company Seed sales and information, photographs.

cohan   Sat Jan 19 2008

this plant grows here in west-central alberta, canada, zone 2-3

Prickly Leaf   Fri May 2 2008

According to "Plants of Coastal British Columbia", fairyslippers only have a single leaf. If you think you have a rosette of leaves, you've probably got several plants close together. It may also interest you to know that fairyslippers have CORMS, not TUBERS. Also, since you seem concerned about the future (this site being called "Plants for a Future"), I advise you not to eat fairyslipper corms. These are rare little orchids, not common vegetables.

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