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Free images of North American Wildflowers 
Pink Lady Slipper 

Note on large files:  Very large files may be bigger than your screen.  
Right click on any portion of the image showing and chose "save as". 

 

 

My personal favourite wild flower - Cypripedium acaule is commonly known as the "Stemless Lady's Slipper, Pink Lady's Slipper, Pink Moccasin Flower" or just  Moccasin Flower".  It is part of the Orchidaceae or Orchid family.  The Cypripedium genus contains about 30 - 50 species widely distributed across the Northern Hemisphere.

Cypripedium acule is the Provincial flower of Prince Edward Island. Although it is a native flower, it is considered uncommon and endangered in many US states.  If the blossom is picked, the plant will not regenerate.  Do not attempt to transplant this orchid if you find one, it will NOT survive.  Because of its attractiveness, this orchid is disappearing in the wild.

Found on wet, moist and dry soils with some shade, this species can be found in coniferous and mixed forests, swamps and bogs.  This species bears a single flower on a stem that is about 15 - 45 cm tall.  It has two large leaves 10 - 25 cm long at the base of the stem.  Plants that are not blooming have no stem which is where the name "Acaule" comes from meaning "without stem".  

Flower blooms range from pale pink to light or dark purple.  There are also white forms of the plant and the Yellow Lady's Slipper, Cypripedium calceolus.

If you have a close look at the flower, there is a pouch or lip that is folded in on itself.  This forms a narrow channel-like opening.  The inner surface of the pouch has many fine hairs.

This species of plant is known as a "deceptive orchid" that is pollinated by bees.  A bee is attracted by the flower's colour and sweet scent.  It pushes through an inward-leading slit in the front of the flower and gets trapped inside a pouch.  The agitated and trapped insect now looks for a way out and must crawl out through a small hole in the back of the pouch called the "labellum".  In order to do so, the bee must  crawl under a flattened structure which are the female reproductive parts (stigma).  Pollen the bee was carrying before rubs off and pollination is accomplished.  As the bee leaves, it picks up a new packet of pollen as it squeezes out of the flower.  If you notice a hole in a flower bloom, an upset bee may have chewed its way out.

Since the pollen sticks to the back of the bee where it cannot access it, bees learn that there is no nectar or pollen reward and do not come to visit the flower again.  Because this flower has such an elaborate method of pollination, it is thought that less than 5% of flowers are pollinated each year.  In fact, it may take up to 10 years for the plant to germinate!  If you see one in the wild, please do not pick the flower!

Did you know...

that "cypripedium" from the Greek means "Aphrodite's shoe" or "Venus' shoe" and refers to the shape of the lip of this flower?

These specimens were photographed blooming at Grundy Lake Provincial Park, Ontario, in early May.

 

 

Ontario wild orchid Pink Lady Slipper

Cypripedium - 16   Pink Lady's Slipper

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Pink red Ontario Wild orchid flower.

Cypripedium - 15   Pink Lady's Slipper

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Pink Moccasin flower

Cypripedium - 14   Pink Lady's Slipper

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Nova Scotia provincial flower

Cypripedium - 13   Pink Lady's Slipper

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Wild orchid Pink Lady Slipper

Cypripedium - 12   Pink Lady's Slipper

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Pink spring Ontario wildflower Pink Moccasin Orchid

Cypripedium - 11   Pink Lady's Slipper

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Pink wild orchid

Cypripedium - 10   Pink Lady's Slipper

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Cluster of Pink Lady Slipper flower blooms

Cypripedium - 9   Pink Lady's Slipper

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Cypripedium acaule pink wild orchid bloomin in spring

Cypripedium - 8   Pink Lady's Slipper

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Pink Lady Slipper Image Pages   [1]   [2]

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If you'd like to drop me a note to let me know if any of these images have been useful, I'd love to hear from you. I'm curious to see if my snapshots have been of benefit to you in some way.  Also, I'd like to hear what kind of images you'd like to see more of. 

 

 


The Earth
Laughs in Flowers


~ Ralph Waldo 
Emerson ~

 

 

"We can complain 
because rose bushes 
have thorns, 
or rejoice because 
thorn bushes 
have roses."

~ Abraham Lincoln ~

 

 

"I wonder if
the Daffodil,
shrinks from the
touch of frost,
And when her veins
grow stiff & still,
She dreams
that life is lost?
Ah, if she does,
how sweet a thing
Her resurrection
day in spring!

~ Emma C. Dowd ~

 

 

"Bred feeds the body, indeed, but flowers 
feed also the soul."

~ The Koran ~

 


"If seeds in the 
black earth 
can turn into 
such beautiful roses, 
what might not 
the heart of man 
become in its 
long journey 
toward the stars?"

~ G.K. Chesterton ~

 


 

"I'd rather have
roses on my table
than  diamonds
around my neck."
~ Emma Goldman ~

 

 

 

"Where flowers bloom
so does hope."

~ Lady Bird Johnson ~

 

 

 

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