E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis (L.) Oakes (Holz.) B. Boivin
Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Gary Ansell  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #13037)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from fleshy, cylindrical or globe-shaped corms; stems 5-20 cm tall, smooth but with 2 to 4 sheathing bracts.
Single basal, long-stalked, blades elliptical or heart- to egg-shaped, smooth, 3-6.5 cm long, stalks 1-6 cm long.
Inflorescence a single, showy, terminal flower, the flowers variegated with purple, pink, and yellow; sepals and lateral petals alike, magenta with 3 darker veins, narrowly lanceolate, 12-25 mm long; lip slipper-shaped, nodding, pouched, yellowish-purple to reddish-purple, variously spotted or streaked with darker purple, 15-25 mm long, the lower portion with apron, hairy above; hood-like column purplish, 8-11 mm long, widely egg-shaped, arched over pouch.
Capsules, erect, ellipsoid, 2-3 cm long.
Two varieties are found in BC

1. Bristlelike hairs on lips sparse, whitish; lip apron white, mottled or irregularly blotched with purple................... var. occidentalis (Holzinger) Boivin

1. Bristlelike hairs on lips numerous, yellow; lip apron yellowish................ var. americana (R.Br.) Luer

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to moist, mossy forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; var. occidentalis - common W of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; var. americana - common E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; circumpolar; var. occidentalis - N to AK and YT and S to ID and CA, Eurasia; var. americana - N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, VT, MI, WI, MN, SD, NM and AZ.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Calypso bulbosa subsp. occidentalis (Holz.) Calder & Roy L. Taylor

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References