Under the head of malformations we place cases of atrophy of parts or general dwarfing, due to starvation, the attacks of Fungi or minute insects, the presence of unsuitable food-materials and so on, as well as cases of transformation of stamens into petals, carpels into leaves, and so forth.
In some orders the parts are numerous, chiefly in the case of the stamens and the carpels, as in the buttercup and other members of the order Ranunculaceae.
In Cypripedium two stamens are present, one on each side of the column instead of one only at the top, as in the group Monandreae, to which belong the remaining genera in which also only two stigmas are fertile.
What may be considered the normal number of stamens is, as has been said, six, arranged in two rows.
In Cypripedium two of the outer stamens are wanting; the third - the one, that is, which corresponds to the single fertile stamen in the Monandreae - forms a large sterile structure or staminode; the two lateral ones of the inner series are present, the third being undeveloped.