CYPRIPEDIUM P. - the meaning
CYPRIPEDIUM P. = CYPRIPEDIUM PAPHIOPEDILUM = lady's SLIPPER
These 2 orchids are alike, but change the name.
CYPRIPEDIUM derived from Kypris, a name of Aphrodite or Venus, and Pedilion (shoes, sandal, slipper,slipper), referring to the particular shape of the lip.
PAPHIOPEDILUM: is derived from Paphos, city of Cyprus, which according to legend is the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite or Venus, and Pedilion.
(taken from the book of Alfredo Cattabiani "Florario. Myths, legends, and symbols of flowers and plants", Editions of Oscar Mondadori. A book to read and consult ! )
The lady's slipper (Cypripedium) is a genus of fifty species of orchids widespread in the temperate zones.
The flowers, borne on stems erect, have a petal bottom, two side and one top relatively large, while the labellum, of considerable size, resembles a shoe, even a slipper.
In ancient China, orchids were associated with festivals of spring and were used to ward off evil influences, and in particular the sterility.
The physician Dioscorides recommended to eat the tubers as a remedy against sterility.
In the middle Ages were attributed to the species the homegrown the same properties fecondatrici of which spoke the Ancient, so much so that the roots were used to create the filters and the elixir of love.
The Greeks called it also kosmosandalon, sandal in the world, to the lip swelling that is found in many species spontaneous in the mediterranean area and resembles the tip of a shoe.
But the beauty of the flower has evoked the symbol of Harmony, and even the emblem of spiritual Perfection, because beauty is carnal and earthly, as taught by Plato, is nothing but a materialization of the invisible to our eyes of mortals.