Sunday, May 21, 2023

First Pink Lady's Slipper


Here's is the first pink lady's slipper orchid I have seen this year. I was flower hunting in the New Jersey pine barrens on May 9th and there it was. I only saw this one in flower but noted several sets of leaves. Just letting you know -- there are wild orchids blooming out there right now. Click to enlarge.

Pink lady's slipper orchids grow in association with a fungus that enables germination and provides nutrients to the plant. Once the plant is established it returns the favor by providing nutrients to the fungus. Individual plants can live for 20 years and longer in the wild.  Once you find some, you can visit the same spot every spring to see them.

A nice bunch from a previous spring. They are pollinated by bees that are attracted to the scent of the flowers. The flower's big pouch has a slit in the front that allows a bee to enter. Once inside, plant hairs direct the bee to an upper exit that requires squeezing past a pollen mass. Well played, little orchids!


  1. Nature is truly amazing in creating relationships that thrive on each other.