The Latin word acaule means 'stem less', referring to the leafless flower stem. The stem grows up from two basal leaves.
Lady's Slippers favor pine forests but is also found in deciduous forests which have acidic soils (pH 4-5). The blossoms are light pink to magenta and, occasionally, white. Another variety which is found in Virginia, Cypripedium parviflorum, looks similar but has a yellow blossom.
Like all orchids, the seeds require this symbiotic relationship since the seeds do not contain carbohydrate stores like most seeds to sustain the newly germinated seedling. The threads of the fungus from the genus Rhizoctonia break open the seed pod and provide the plant with soil nutrients that it cannot access on its own.