Awesome Lady's Slippers on Trail

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 11, 2014 9:25 PM GMT
    Incredible find on the trail today, a small patch of Pink Lady's Slippers. Here is one in all its glory.

    ladyslipperX.jpg
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    May 11, 2014 9:27 PM GMT
    This will probably cut off, but here you can see the patch. I counted ten while there.

    ladyslipperpatch.jpg
  • carew28

    Posts: 658

    May 11, 2014 10:23 PM GMT
    Thanks for the pictures of the Pink Ladyslippers. They really are in their glory this time of year. They are a beautiful woodland wildflower, and are quite rare now.

    Incidentally, Pink Ladyslippers (Cypripedium acaule) should always be appreciated right where they naturally are, in the woodland. They're very, very difficult to raise in a cultivated garden, so don't ever transplant them from the wild into a garden. They grow in soil that's impregnated with a symbiotic mycorrhizial woodland fungus, and usually won't grow in a garden, no matter how fertile it is.

    If anyone feels that they must grow them in a garden, you should contact a specialty wildflower or orchid nursery, and purchase specimens that have been grown in cultivation.
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    May 11, 2014 11:10 PM GMT
    Yeah, I've never seen them in the wild, and this was the only patch I spotted anywhere. I didn't know they were in the orchid family until I came back home. I read that they grow in highly acidic soil. I saw a lot of dead bugs sticking to the leaves. Carnivorous? ;-)
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    May 11, 2014 11:15 PM GMT
    so green back east.. i forget
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    May 12, 2014 1:06 AM GMT
    I thought this was going to be a thread about these kinds of ladies' slippers:

    Vintage-handmade-silk-screen-font-b-wome
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 12, 2014 1:13 AM GMT
    Those are so awesome! I now have to find out more about them, thanks for sharing!
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    May 13, 2014 3:26 AM GMT
    A National Park Service page on Lady's Slipper orchids.

    http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/Lady-Slipper-Orchids.htm

    RoneyBlog20130623cedit.jpg

    The fly lands on the lip of the flower and drops down through the hole in the top. Once inside, it finds the sides of the lip too slick to climb back out the hole. Instead the fly finds purplish maroon lines that guide it toward the back of the flower where there are two windows that let in light. When it arrives at the windows it can't exit there. Hairs along the back wall of the flower allow the syrphid fly to climb up toward one of two holes to exit the flower. On the way the insect bumps into a structure where pollen from a previously visited flower may rub off. If it's the lady slipper pollen it will grow and fertilize the seeds.

    From there the syrphid fly goes up either to the left or the right and out a narrow opening. As the insect leaves the flower it must squeeze past a structure that bears pollen, which rubs onto the insect. Away flies the syrphid covered with pollen, and still hungry, for there is no nectar in the flower. On to the next flower it goes, only to go through the same ordeal again and again.

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    May 13, 2014 3:43 AM GMT
    Wow now that's an amazing plant. I love botany and horticulture. I would like to grow these....Can you get the seeds? How would I cultivate them?
    cool for sure
  • carew28

    Posts: 658

    May 13, 2014 7:58 PM GMT
    2Bnaked saidWow now that's an amazing plant. I love botany and horticulture. I would like to grow these....Can you get the seeds? How would I cultivate them?
    cool for sure


    They're very, very difficult to grow from seed. Almost impossible under ordinary conditions. The seeds are so small that they're microscopic, like little grains of dust. They won't germinate on their own. They need the help of a special mycorrhizial fungus found in the woodland soil, that provides them with some sort of nutrition, and enables the seed to germinate. I think the mature plants need it, too.

    I think that some specialty orchid nurseries have tried to germinate the seed by putting it into some sort of agar solution, which provides it with the nutrition it needs to germinate and to begin to grow. They've been successful with other varieties of tropical orchids (Look at all the orchids for sale in supermarkets now !). But I don't know if they've done it with Ladyslippers.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2014 8:15 PM GMT
    2Bnaked saidWow now that's an amazing plant. I love botany and horticulture. I would like to grow these....Can you get the seeds? How would I cultivate them?
    cool for sure


    You need to know about DavesGarden.com. Great forums from people all over the world. It's the RealJock of the plant world.
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    May 14, 2014 12:31 AM GMT
    Coming upon these orchids made up for a missed shot. I was taking pictures of this butterfly earlier, when all of a sudden another flew in and mated with it. I was a like, holy crap. I just had them in frame when they disappeared. It was over in three seconds. For thirty minutes I was heartbroken. Damn. Then the patch of Lady's Slippers caught my eye, and I was like, yay! icon_wink.gif

    redblueswallowtail.jpg


    Another shot, a very patient skink that stayed in place even as I had to delete pictures on the camera to make room.

    skink.jpg
  • carew28

    Posts: 658

    May 25, 2014 8:36 PM GMT
    I walked my dog this morning in a little woodland/wetland area behind an elementary school a few miles from my house, and I came upon 2 pink ladyslipper plants in full bloom. I've been on this path many times before, and never noticed the plants before. I guess you only notice them in late May, when they're blooming. They really are beautiful. Unfortunately, I don't know how to operate a digital-camera or a smart-phone, so I couldn't take a picture.

    The butterfly in the picture, which later mated, I think is a tiger-swallowtail (although I'm not sure). They haven't appeared up here in New England yet, although they will in a few weeks, and I'm looking forward to seeing them.