Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spring Flowers: Yellow Lady Slipper

Cypripedium parviflorum (Yellow Lady Slipper) is a spectacular member of the Orchid Family.  It is found in moist, rich woods throughout the United States.  Usually, a single flower blooms on top of a plant that is about two feet tall, but sometimes a plant will produce two flowers.  The plant has broad, alternating, strongly-veined leaves on a single stalk.  It is such a unique plant, that it can only be confused with other species of Yellow Lady Slippers (there are a few).

C. parviflorum is endangered or threatened in many states.  Some, admiring its beauty, try to transplant it, which nearly always results in death for the plant.  Like most temperate orchids, this one requires a specific type of fungus in the soil to grow. 

Pictures (click to enlarge):
 C. parviflorum.  This shows the strongly veined leaves.
 A C. parviflorum with a pair of blooms.
 Another example of C. parviflorum.
This is an older picture of mine and isn't perfectly clear, but it does show the inside of the slipper.  The flower is pollinated by insects crawling into the slipper.

No comments:

Post a Comment