Small White Lady’s Slipper

Small White Lady’s Slipper, Cypripedium candidum

For someone used to the robust Showy Lady’s Slippers, the Small Whites seem impossibly small and delicate. They are the only lady’s slipper native to the prairie and not the woodland. Minnesota’s tallgrass prairie—the western portion of the state—was once a sea of white blossoms every spring when they came into bloom. Now most of that prairie is farmland, with very little natural prairie left. And yet, as rare as it is—with an estimation of over 95% of the original population lost to agriculture—Minnesota continues to have the greatest population of the plant in the world and is estimated to have more than all the other states and Canadian provinces combined. So while the Small White Lady’s Slipper may not be the the state flower of Minnesota, Minnesota is definitely the state of the Small White Lady’s Slipper.