Hmm, might have forgotten something last night…Sorry if you’re an early riser, but here’s today’s mystery a little late…
Let’s say you’re taking a stroll through your favorite beech forest and happen to see some pink among the greenery on the ground. It’s a bit hard to make out, so put your eagle-eyes on and look just to the right of the largest tree trunk. What might it be…if it’s May?
I’ll be back later–no sun naps for this squirrel today. Nutmeg will make sure of that!
So, this was a bit of a peek, but really, that’s about how far away a human walking would be from these wildflowers.
This is a very rare flower in our parts, an orchid by the name of Pink Lady’s Slipper, Cypripedium acaule. An orchid! It’s a native plant, one that lives in rich woodlands, usually under oaks or pines where it sets its roots in acidic soils.
The ‘slipper’, the pink pouch part, gives the flower its name. Some people call it Moccasin Flower because of this. If you look carefully, you see the slipper is split down the center.
Bees will enter through this slit to get the nectar inside and in the process, rub agains the pollen. When they go to the next slipper, the pollen is rubbed off and on, fertilizing the flowers.