The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

Q: Paphiopedilum ("slipper orchids")

Paphiopedilum callosum
Paphiopedilum callosum
A: This is another noncarnivorous genus. No, the morphologically similar Cypripedium orchid genus is not carnivorous, either. Nor are any other orchids known to be carnivorous, although Aracamunia has been accused of the crime, but with very little evidence.

There is no denying that one petal of this orchid is large and...dare I say...pitcher-shaped. But this is for temporarily retaining pollinators so they visit the correct parts of the flower. It is what sports fishermen refer to as a "catch and release" program.

Page citations: Mabberley, D.J. 1987; personal observations.

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Revised: January 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005