Orchids at the Arboretum

The Arboretum sits on a varied landscape, with a natural bog, prairie wetlandm and maple woodland. There are many orchid species native to the metro area and we have many of these species in gardens at the Arboretum. Orchid locations can be found using the Arboretum’s Plant Search tool!

Pink lady's slipper

If you've been to Minnesota in the summer, consider yourself a Minnesotan, or just have a knack for state emblems, you probably know about our State Flower, the Showy Lady's Slipper (also called the Pink and White Lady's Slipper). Its scientific name is Cypripedium reginae. Reginae is Latin for "queen," a fitting tribute to this orchid, with its white petals and sepals that spread out from its pink, pouch-like labellum. These orchids typically bloom in June and July.

The Showy Lady's Slipper, our largest native orchid, is widely distributed throughout eastern and central North America in places including wet, dry, sunny and shady habitats. At the Arboretum, the Showy Lady’s Slipper can be found at the southwest end of the bog walk and in the wildflower garden. Slow-growing, this clonal orchid may take over 15 years to produce its first flower. But once it starts splitting and blooms, a single plant may develop into a cluster of over 200 flowering stems. White-tailed deer readily eat this plant. Illegal collecting, loss of habitat and poor water quality (pollution) have also caused declines in wild populations. Also note the Showy Lady's Slipper has fine hairs that may irritate skin and cause a rash similar to poison ivy.