Orchid (Cypripedium segawai)

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Cypripedium segawii flower
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Orchid fact file

Orchid description

KingdomPlantae
PhylumTracheophyta
ClassLiliopsida
OrderOrchidales
FamilyOrchidaceae (1)
GenusCypripedium

This slipper orchid is a small, terrestrial herb. The flower stalk, or inflorescence, carries a single small flower, which is yellow or yellowish-green in colour (2). The tapered petals are not twisted and the bright yellow lip is highly conspicuous and may occasionally be finely spotted with red markings (2). The lip of the flower has a characteristically small mouth that is often edged by a row of teeth (2). The leaves may reach 10 cm in length, they are tapered in shape with a downy outer layer (2).

Size
Leaf length: 5 - 10 cm (2)
Flower stalk (pedicel): up to 12 cm long (2)
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Orchid biology

Cypripedium segawai can be seen flowering from late March to early April (2). It is closely related to the Chinese slipper orchid C. henryi (2). In cultivation, most plants are vegetatively propagated(4).

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Orchid range

Cypripedium segawai is known only from Taiwan, South East Asia (2).

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Orchid habitat

Found amid Taiwan juniper (Juniperus formosana) forest, in mountainous areas (2).

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Orchid status

Listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).

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Orchid threats

It is thought that this species of orchid is already rare in the wild. The exportation of wild plants may pose a serious threat to the survival of Cypripedium segawai; it can be found on sale in Japan, the USA and Europe (2).

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Orchid conservation

More data on the occurrence of Cypripedium segawai in the wild, as well as in cultivation, is needed in order to ascertain the status of this species and the appropriate conservation actions required.

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Authentication

Authenticated (2/6/03) by Dr Phillip Cribb. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
http://www.rbgkew.org.uk

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Glossary

Herb
A small, non-woody, seed bearing plant in which all the aerial parts die back at the end of each growing season.
Inflorescence
The reproductive shoot of the plant, which bears flowers (See http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/ksheets/pdfs/flower.pdf for a fact sheet on flower structure).
Vegetative reproduction (or propagation)
Type of asexual reproduction (reproduction without recombination of genetic material) that results in the propagation of plants using only the vegetative tissues such as leaves or stems. The resulting plant is genetically identical to the original plant. A well-known example of this is the reproduction of strawberry plants from ‘runners’.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (January, 2003) www.redlist.org
  2. Cribb, P. (1997) The genus Cypripedium. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Timber Press, Oregon.
  3. CITES (January, 2003) www.cites.org
  4. Cribb, P. (May, 2003) Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Pers. comm.
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Image credit

Cypripedium segawii flower  
Cypripedium segawii flower

© Phillip J. Cribb / Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Richmond
Surrey
TW9 3AB
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 208 332 5000
Fax: +44 (0) 208 332 5197
info@kew.org
http://www.rbgkew.org.uk

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