This subfamily has been considered by some to be a family
Cypripediaceae, separate from the Orchidaceae. The subfamily
Cypripedioideae is monophyletic and consists of five genera. Their
common features are two fertile diandrous (that is, with two perfect
stamens) anthers, a shield-shaped staminode and a saccate (sac-shaped)
The Cypripedium genus is found across much of North America, as well
as in parts of Europe and Asia. The state flower of Minnesota is the
Showy Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium reginae). The Lady's Slipper is also
the official provincial flower of Prince Edward Island, a province of
Paphiopedilums are found in the tropical forests of southeast Asia
reaching as far north as southern China. Paphiopedilum is quite easy
to cultivate and therefore is popular among orchid enthusiasts. In
fact, overcollecting of this genus has caused some problems in its
Phragmipedium, found across northern South and Central America, is
also easy to cultivate as it requires lower temperatures than
Paphiopedilum, eliminating the need for a greenhouse in many areas.
The lady's slipper is also known in the United States of America as
the moccasin flower, from its resemblance to a shoe or moccasin.
The once thought extinct flower is now legally protected from
cultivation. This variety of orchid was spotted at a a golf course in
Lancashire England and daily patrols are made to ensure its safety.
Above's source: WIKIPEDIA
In India the subfamily is represented by two genera, namely,
Cypripedium and Paphiopedilum, which inturn are represented by 5 (C.
elegans, C. guttatum, C. cordigerum, C. himalaicum, C. tibeticum) and
9 species (P. charlesworthii, P. insigne, P. druryi, P. villosum, P.
fairrieanum, P. spicerianum, P. hirsutissimum, P. venustum, P. wardii)
respectively. Of these only 3 species of Cypripediums are found in
Western Himalaya and one species of Paphiopedilum is found in Western
Ghats, i.e., Paphiopedilum druryi.
I will be sharing few pics of this subfamily in my next few mails.
"TAXONOMISTS GETTING EXTINCT AND SPECIES DATA DEFICIENT !!"
Pankaj Kumar Ph.D. (Orchidaceae)
Greater Kailash Sacred Landscape Project
Department of Habitat Ecology
Wildlife Institute of India
Post Box # 18
Dehradun - 248001, India