In Bloom Now: Pink Lady Slippers

 

Plants

Wildflowers

Currently in bloom in much of the region is the pink lady’s slipper, which is perhaps the most abundant orchid in much of New England.They are normally found in woodlands, and certain semi-open areas as well. They seem to do best in leaf litter  They  have one rather large (almost 2 inches long on average.) single flower per plant, and also have two leaves which spring from the base of the plant. They produce one fruit each year†, visible under one of the sepals – Sepals are the green leaf-like petal things on the flower. The flower itself is very well named as it is pink and shaped like a slipper. I mention well named because there are actually quite a few things that are poorly named (I am looking at you, red-bellied woodpecker!) They generally bloom in late spring, normally sometime in May here in central Massachusetts, but are a  bit late this year due to a stupid freak spring snowstorm.

Despite being rather common, in most are illegal to pick, transplant or disturb in any way as they are quite finicky and difficult to grow††. Basically, once removed, they are gone, and will only return if conditions are right, this could take many decades. So basically, if you see one, leave it alone, you can take a picture, but that is about it.

 

Whoops, almost forgot to insert citations. Citations are good. Anyway sourcey goodness:

†Elliman, Ted, and New England Wildflower Society “Wildflowers of New England” pg 307. 2016, Timber press Inc.

†† Theriet, John W.; Niering,William A.; and Olmstead,Nancy C.  “National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers Eastern Region” pg 653-4.   2001, Chanticleer Press

Those 2 lovely pictures, yeah, those are mine 🙂

 

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