Listing: CITES Appendix II
The Plant’s Story
Cypripedium japonicum is known in Korea as Kwangreung Yogang Flower, so named because the shape of the flower resembles a bowl. It has always been rare in cultivation outside of Asia. On the brink of extinction in Korea, only about 200 individuals remain in the wild. The Korean government is actively seeking to safeguard Cypripedium japonicum and several mountains and villages have been designated as protected habitats. Numbers of this orchid in China and Japan are greater, but they are all protected by CITES Appendix II. China is the center for Cypripedium diversity, being home to two-thirds of the world’s Cypripedium species, with a further centralization in Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, areas experiencing rapid habitat change.
The Artist’s Story: Jee-Yeon Koo
I’ve been a fine artist and teacher in Korea for many years, specializing in flowers in the eastern style of painting, using traditional materials and techniques. As principal art director for the national project for illustrating rare and endangered Korean plants sponsored by the Korea National Arboretum, I have painted many rare Korean plants. I was interested in Cypripedium japonicum because it is the most important endangered plant in Korea. My technique consists of many layers of dry brush watercolors.
More of the plant’s story and the artist’s story can be found in the exhibit catalog, available at the exhibition venues or online from the ASBA.