Native: grow in tropical to subtropical climates; about 20 species of these lady's slipper orchids are known from SW Mexico, Central and tropical South America; listed as endangered species
Type: normally fairly large terrestrials, but some species are epiphytic or lithophytic
Size: some species have drooping petals that are so long they reach the soil
Flowering: stem shows about 2 to 3 flowers that are usually long-lasting and stay in bloom for months; flowers often feature long, moustache-like petals with lateral spiraling; the large, pouchlike labellum is curved inwards at the margin and usually glabrous and laced with venation
Colors: often cream-colored and hoary with green stripes and tinted red on drooping edges of petals; some petals are green to burgundy; the veined labellum has combinations of burgundy and green or red and yellow; P. besseae is unusual for its bright orange-red to salmon-red color
Flowering stem: the erect flower spikes bare multiple flowers which open successively or all at once, depending on the species; the stem is jointed and branching and grows about 80 cm high, showing 2 to 3 flowers
Growth pattern: sympodial
Pseudobulb: the stem lacks pseudobulbs
Known for: common name Lady's Slipper or Slipper Orchid; long, twisting petals and large, pouchlike labellum
History: name is derived from the Greek phragma, which means "division", and pedium, which means "slipper" in reference to the divisions of the flower's ovary and the slipper-shaped labellum

The flower features long, moustache-like petals and a large pouchlike labellum that is curved inwards at the margins. The lower two sepals are fused into a synsepal. A unique shieldlike staminode is visible.

The flower possesses an ovary that is trilocular (having three cavities) as opposed to unilocular (having one cavity), as in Paphiopedilum.