Stamp Stories from around the world

Cypripedium calceolus is a “lady’s-slipper orchid”, and the type species of the genus Cypripedium. It is native to Europe and Asia. Cypripedium comes from the Greek Κυπρισ πεδιον (Kupris pedion), meaning Venus’ foot (a reference to the Roman goddess Venus). Calceolus is Latin for a small shoe. This species is the largest-flowered orchid species in Europe, growing to 60 cm tall with flowers as wide as 9 cm. Before it flowers, it is distinguished from other orchids by the large size and width of its ovate leaves (as big as 18 cm long, 9 cm wide), which like other orchids exhibit parallel venation. Todays stamp showing the “lady’s-slipper orchid” is from Norway and was issued in 1992.