Bloom Spring 2018 - Page 22

Weird & Wonderful Flowers Yellow and Purple Lady Slippers This is an extremely rare type of wild orchid found across Europe. Britain’s only example of this plant, which used to be more common and widespread, can be found on a golf course and has been under strict police protection since 1917. A single cutting can be sold for US$5000, which is shocking as the plant is very difficult to propagate. Its seeds bear no nourishment for the growing plant, so it lives in a symbiotic relationship with a specific type of fungus, which provides it with nourishment, until the adult leaves can produce enough nourishment for the plant, at which time the fungus will also live off it. There are many types of Lady slipper orchids, many of which are rare. This specific type, has dark purple to almost red brown tendrils with a bright yellow “slipper or moccasin.” 20 Bloom | Spring 2018 Cypripedium calceolus