The orchid genus Cypripedium is a small group of temperate zone orchids found in North America, Europe, and Asia. Their centers of abundance are North America with 15 species and China with 30 species. Populations of Cypripediums have declined worldwide because of habitat destruction and over-exploitation by humans. Cypripediums often possess beautiful flowers which are sought after by collectors. The digging of the orchids typically occurs during the Spring and Summer when the flowers are obvious. The disturbance caused by digging prevents the orchid from producing an underground dormant bud which is necessary for the plant to survive the next winter. Cypripediums are not wintergreen-- their leaves and stems wither at the approach of winter. The renewal of growth in the Spring occurs by the sprouting of the dormant bud.
Originally, the mission of Cypripediums.Com was to offset the decline of Cypripedium populations in North America by producing seedlings by the asymbiotic germination of seeds. However, it became apparent that other genera and species of temperate orchids were also in decline and therefore I have extended the production of seedlings to these other genera and species. Seedlings are made available to governmental agencies, NGOs, and individuals interested in restoring native populations. Agencies and NGOs can provide seed from specific populations and receive in return seedlings of the same genetic stock. The potential for restoring native populations is large because most temperate orchid species produce seed capsules containing many thousands of tiny seeds.
In addition to producing seedlings by the asymbiotic method, Cypripediums.com is now purchasing temperate orchid plants produced by nurseries in Europe and Japan. Also, some of the adult plants on this website are plants that are being rescued from land under development. Care is taken to insure that rescued plants are being rescued by individuals or nurseries licensed by various state agencies.
Vernalized Seedling of Cypripedium produced by the asymbiotic seed germination method
Seed of Cypripedium