Skip to main content
This species is accepted, and its native range is Himalaya to S. & SE. Tibet.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


Flowering inJune and July.


N. India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, SE. Xizang (Tibet). Possibly SW. China.


Amongst grass-clad limestone boulders, in nooks and crevices, amongst small shrubs on steep hillsides, in pastures, on open rocky slopes, or in Rhododendron-Cassiope scrub, growing in partial shade; 2800-4900 m. Flowering inJune and July.

General Description

A small terrestrial herb 14-30 cm tall, growing from an elongate rhizome 2-4mm in diameter. Stems erect, short, 4-20 cm long, sparsely pubescent, with two to three basal tubular sheaths, three- to four-leaved. Leaves closely spaced on stem, elliptic to ovate, acute, 5-10 cm long, 2.4-4.7 cm wide, slightly pubescent on upper surface, glabrous beneath, ciliate. Inflorescence oneflowered; peduncle 3-10 cm long, pubescent especially above; bract lanceolate, acuminate, 3.2-6 cm long, 0.5-1.3 cm wide. Flower very fragrant, claret and green, crimson-purple or reddish chocolate with a yellow column; pedicel and ovary 1.6-2.4 cm long, densely long-pubescent, hairs multicellular. Dorsal sepal ovate or elliptic, shortly acuminate or acute, 2.4-2.8 cm long, 1.8-2 cm wide, glabrous, eciliate; synsepal deeply concave, oblong-lanceolate, acute, 1.8-2.2 cm long, one-third as wide as dorsal sepal, glabrous, eciliate. Petals untwisted, lanceolate or linear-Ianc,eolate, acute, 2.3-3.4 cm long, 0.6-0.7 cm wide, pubescent at the base, ciliate. Lip bulbous, broadest towards the ape~ in side view, bilaterally compressed, 2.8-3.4 cm long, with a small mouth with a toothed margin; side lobes incurved and with a distinct crease. Column 0.7-0.9 cm long; staminode trullate-subcordate, obtuse to truncate, longitudinally cohcave, 0.7 cm long, 0.55 cm wide.

Native to:

East Himalaya, Nepal, Tibet, West Himalaya

Cypripedium himalaicum Rolfe appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Sep 1, 1972 Hooker, J.D. [317], Sikkim K000363717
Schilling, A.D. [392], Nepal 31923.000
Nepal 32360.000
Hooker, J.D. [317], Sikkim K000077963 holotype
Hooker, J.D. [s.n.], Sikkim K000077964 Unknown type material

First published in J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 29: 319 (1892)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Lucksom, S.Z. (2007). The orchids of Sikkim and North East Himalaya: 1-984. S.Z.Lucksom, India.
  • Manilal, K.S. & Kumar, C.S. (eds.) (2004). Orchid Memories A tribute to Gunnar Seidenfaden: 1-265. Mentor Books, Calicut.
  • Raskoti, B.B. (2009). The Orchids of Nepal: 1-252. Bhakta Bahadur Raskoti and Rita Ale.
  • Vij, S.P., Verma, J. & Kumar, C.S. (2013). Orchids of Himachal Pradesh: 1-275. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun.
  • Wu, Z. & Hong, D. (eds.) (2009). Flora of China 25: 1-570. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.



  • Rolfe, R.A. Original description of Cypripedium himalaicum. 29, (1892).

All Rights Reserved

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.