2020 55¢ Cypripedium Reginae (Showy Lady's Slipper Orchid)
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: February 21, 2020
First Day City:
Coral Gables, FL
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Double-sided booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 500,000,000
Many people in the United States do not realize the number of wild orchid species native to our country. Part of this is because some plants are not immediately recognized as being orchids.
Some of the most beautiful plants native to North America are "lady's slippers" orchids. Many people have seen them on hikes through wooded swamps or along shady riverbanks and not realized they are actually a type of orchid. The most striking variety is Cypripedium reginae, sometimes called the "showy lady's slipper," "pink and white lady's slipper," or "the queen's lady's slipper."
Cypripedium reginae is easily identified by the iconic shape of its flowers. The blooms are mostly white with the very bottom petal being pink to magenta and shaped like a pouch. The showy lady's slipper prefers wetland habitats with very loose soil and partial shade. It grows up to three feet tall with several stems and flowers from the same root base. The flowers appear in early to mid-summer with one to two blooms per stem.
The showy lady's slipper is a particularly rare species. It is a victim of increased draining of wetlands, water contamination, and other habitat destruction. Without increased environmental awareness, this beautiful orchid may one day disappear completely.