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
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Cytherea bulbosa (L.) House p.p.