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This species is accepted, and its native range is Central & S. China, S. Korea, Japan.


In and on edge ofbamboo groves and in thin montane forest often near water, in dappled shade; 1000-2000 m. Flowering in May and early June.


Japan (Awaji, Kyushu, S. Hokkaido, NE. Honshu, Sado, Shikoku), Korea, China (Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Hubei, S. Shaanxi, Gansu, Sichuan, NE. Guizhou).


Flowering in May and early June.

General Description

A terrestrial herb 25-45 cm tall, with a slender flexuous creeping rhizome, 15-40 cm long, 0.2-0.3 cm in diameter, bearing occasional scales and bunches of roots at intervals. Stems erect, slender, 0.4-0.5 cm in diameter, densely tomentose hairy, enclosed in several obtuse overlapping sheaths in lower part, bearing two subopposite leaves just above the middle. Leaves more or less horizontal, flabellate from a short sheathing base, rounded, obtuse or apiculate at the apex, 8-16 cm long, 7-23.5 cm wide, the margins undulate all round, usually glabrous but sometimes sparsely hairy, with radiating veins which apparently terminate at the margin. Inflorescence one-flowered, erect; peduncle slender, terete, 7-12 cm long, hairy; bract leafy, ovate or lanceolate, acute or acuminate, 3-6.5 cm long, 0.4-5.2 cm wide. Flower nutant, the sepals and petals pale yellow or yellow-green with purple spots at the base, the lip whitish or yellowish pink with carmine or crimson spots and veins, more intense on the inner surface, the staminode purplered with a green or yellow central line; pedicel and ovary 1.4-3 cm long, densely pubescent. Dorsal sepalincurved, lanceolate, acuminate, 4-6 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm wide; synsepal elliptic-ovate, acuminate and bidentate at apex, 3.5-5 cm long, 1.2-2 cm wide. Petals falcate, lanceolate, acuminate, 3.5-6 cm long, 0.8-1.2 cm wide, hairy at the base on inner side. Lip calceiform, pendent, somewhat Lshaped in side view, with a crimped and grooved apical part, 3.8-6 cm long, 3-3.5 cm across. Column greenish-white, about 1 cm long; staminode convex, ovate or cordate, with two obscure longitudinal ridges, 1 cm long, 0.8-0.9 cm wide.

Native to:

China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Japan, Korea

Cypripedium japonicum Thunb. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Tsoong, K.K. [282], China K000077934
Tsoong, K.K. [282] K000077935
Wright, C. [11], Japan K000363736

First published in J.A.Murray, Syst. Veg. ed. 14: 817 (1784)

Accepted by

  • Chang, C.S., Kim, H. & Chang, K.S. (2014). Provisional checklist of vascular plants for the Korea peninsula flora (KPF): 1-660. DESIGNPOST.
  • 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.
  • Iwatsuki, K., Boufford, D.E. & Ohba, H. (2016). Flora of Japan IVb: 1-335. Kodansha Ltd., Tokyo.
  • Wu, Z. & Hong, D. (eds.) (2009). Flora of China 25: 1-570. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.



  • Thunberg, C.P. Original description of Cypripedium japonicum. (1784).

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The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
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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.