Phragmipedium is a genus of the Orchid family (Orchidaceae) (Subfamily Cypripedioideae) and the only genus comprised in the tribe Phragmipedieae andsubtribe Phragmipediinae. The name of the genus is derived from the Greek phragma, which means "division", and pedium, which means "slipper" (referring to the pouch). It is abbreviated Phrag in trade journals.
About 20 species of these lady's slipper orchids are known from SW Mexico, Central and tropical South America. The exact number of species is still being discussed among specialists : O. Gruss recognizes 20 species, compared to the 15 species accepted by Lucile M. McCook (see References).
Most Phragmipedium species are either terrestrial,epiphytic or lithophytic in habit. They show a unique shieldlike staminode, long, moustache-like petals and a 3-locular ovary. The large pouchlike lip is curved inwards at the margins. The acute leaves attain a length of about 80cm. The stem lacks pseudobulbs and grows about 80 cm high, showing 2 to 3 flowers. [by Wikipedia]