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Swiss Orchid Foundation
at the Herbarium Jany Renz

Dr. Christoph Noelpp
St. Jakobs-Strasse 30
4002 Basel

© 2015 Swiss Orchid Foundation

Botanical Institute
University of Basel

Cypripedium calceolus

Project 2 (2014-): Reintroduction of Cypripedium calceolus


In 2014, the Swiss Orchid Foundation started a new Cypripedium calceolus project involving several parts of Switzerland. Cypripedium calceolus is a critically endangered species. With the help of the company Anthura in Bleiswijk, Netherlands, the Swiss Orchid Foundation tries to cultivate cultured plants. If you would like to find out more about the project with pictures and other informations about the participants, you can click the following link: Project description (pdf)



Visit to Anthura

In May 2014, a group of people from the project visited Anthura in Bleiswijk, Netherlands. By clicking the following link, you can find a report with many nice pictures of the visit: Visit report (pdf)


Project 1 (1998-2009)


Description of the different stages of the project

1998             Seeds of C. calceolus that were harvested by S. Sprunger in Langenbruck were seeded in vitro and piqued one to two times (after Malmgren 1992).
1999 Acclimatization of the young plants in a septic milieu (mixture of expanded clay).
1995 - 2006 Cultivation of the young plants and repeated repotting into a more and more organic milieu.
Sept. 2005 Designation of an adequate habitat for the resettlement at the location "Chilpen" (after the authorization of M. Paul Imbeck, Amt für Raumplanung Liestal, and M. Ueli Berchthold, Pro Natura Basel).
März 2006 Planting of ten seedlings on two convenient locations at "Chilpen" and planting of five reference plants at Langenbruck.
2006 - 2009 Growth control of the plants.
2009 Report of the results. Detailed documentation in a learned journal in case of a successful project.


Advantages of the habitat "Chilpen"

  • The location is already known for its orchid population. In order to protect it, a nature reserve was created. The existence of this reserve is guaranteed for a longer time.
  • The location is close to Langenbruck, where the seeds used in this project come from.
  • The continuous observation of the already existing orchids can include the newly planted C. calceolus, which allows for fast action in case of problems.


Disadvantages of the habitat "Chilpen"

  • As far as we know, the historical appearance of C. calceolus at "Chilpen" is not confirmed.
  • Because of the high frequentation of the habitat by visitors, an optically discreet planting is required.



Because of the accessibility and the periodic controls, the habitat "Chilpen" is a perfect location for this project.


Expected results

  • As far as we know, this is the second attempt to reintroduce C. calceolus out of seeds in the nature. The first project was launched in England. The exact procedure and the results of the project were never published.
  • This experiment should lead to concrete insights about the methods used in the reintroduction of the plants (planting, irrigation during the acclimatization, protection, elimination of competing species).
  • Estimation of the success rate of the reintroduction of C. calceolus. The small number of test plants available (3 x 5 plants) does not allow for a big experiment. Because of the cultivator's long standing experience with the cultivation of orchids, the important factors which are to be considered can nonetheless be located. Because of the high price of the plants, which is due to the difficulty and rareness of their cultivation, an experiment on a big scale is not possible. If the results of this pilot project are encouraging, other experiments based on this project can be started.
  • The gained experience can be used to reintroduce C. calceolus in other locations in the canton Basel-Land, where the historical population of this orchid has disappeared.