Thursday, July 9, 2009

Showy Lady's Slipper!

My good friend called me the other afternoon saying she knew where there were some more Showy Lady Slipper flowers that needed their pictures taken! Of course, it didn't take long to get ready, and off we went. Our excursion didn't take over an hour, but sure was fun. Hardest part is to find good parking along the road that doesn't have much for a shoulder for parking. We found several spots and off we go into the ditch! Some cars passing turned around - think they were double checking to see if we were digging up any plants. No way - illegal to do so!

In checking out history of the Minnesota State Flower, I found some controversary about this plant that was adopted as a state flower. Minn. Stat. 1.142 History stated that in 1893 the adopted resolution mistakenly designated the wild lady slipper or moccasin flower, Cypripedium calceolus, which does not actually grow in Minnesota. In 1902 the State flower was called a fake, and a resolution corrected part of the previous misnomer, replacing Cypripedium calceolus with Cypripedium reginae, but neglected to remove the term moccasin flower, which designates a different, though related flower. It looks like things were fixed in 1967 Minn. Laws Chap 291 Sec 1.

I find it interesting that this plant takes from 4 to 16 years before producing it's first flower. The plant can live for 50 plus years. That is amazing when you think of all the road work that has been done and we still have these wonderful flowers to watch bloom every year at the end of June and first weeks of July.

This picture below is a white Lady's Slipper! What happened to this plant root to cause this white flower? My friend is the plant expert, and she said the actual white flower is different. So here we have an albino Cypripedium reginae! I bet my friend is doing some more research on this little flower.

1 comment:

g said...

Nice pics. We see the Lady Slipper on the way to I.C. while biking. Zooming cars miss so much, isn't it great to slow down and hike in the ditches to catch these beauties. The window for blossums is relatively short so it is very exciting to see them. g