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Pink Lady’s Slipper

Pink's Lady Slipper Flower

When I was hiking on Sunday through Zealand Notch in New Hampshire's White Mountains, I saw this delicate flower by the side of the trail. It has a puffy, balloon like shape.

When I got home, I looked it up in my Pocket Naturalist Guide to New England Trees and & Wildflowers. Turns out that it is known by many names including Pink Lady's Slipper and Pink Moccasin Flower (Cypripedium acaule.)

If you are interested in plant, flower, tree, insect or animal identification, I highly recommend that you buy one of these Pocket Naturalist Guides. They weigh slightly more than 1 oz and have pictures to help you identify the different species you see along the trail.

After a little more research, I discovered that Pink Lady's Slipper is a member of the orchid family, and like Indian Pipe, it has a symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil around it that provides it with nutrients. It grows in New England and Canada in acidic woods, flowering from May to July.

Interesting stuff, if you pay attention to the woods and animals around you while you're huffing and puffing along the trail.

2 comments

  1. I love those flowers! In fact, I just saw one this past week while section-hiking the Colorado Trail and it immediately reminded me of hiking in the Whites. Although, the one I saw in Colorado was about half the size of any of those I'd seen in New England.

  2. In some of the sub-alpine areas of British Columbia, I occasionally see the Lady Slipper. Gorgeous flower to see in the wild! Great site you have here – thanks for finding TracksAndTrails on Twitter:-)

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