This description provides characteristics of the fairy slipper that may be relevant to its fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available [20,21,30,37,39,43,56,73].
Fairy slipper is a native, perennial forb. It has a single, basal green leaf that is 1 to 2 inches (3-6 cm) long. The flower is usually solitary (rarely with 2 flowers), with a long, scoop-shaped lip tufted, 3 erect-spreading sepals, and 2 petals that are narrow, pointed and twisted. The fruits are erect capsules. The erect stem stands between 2 to 8 inches (5-20 cm) tall, extending from a bulb-like corm [26,57,59]. Fibrous roots are typically produced at the base of a single corm .
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- 43. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. 
- 56. Munz, Philip A.; Keck, David D. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. 
- 57. Patterson, Patricia A.; Neiman, Kenneth E.; Tonn, Jonalea. 1985. Field guide to forest plants of northern Idaho. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-180. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 246 p. 
- 59. Pojar, Jim; MacKinnon, Andy, eds. 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska. Redmond, WA: Lone Pine Publishing. 526 p. 
- 73. Voss, Edward G. 1972. Michigan flora. Part I: Gymnosperms and monocots. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 488 p. 
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