Yeah – I admit I had a senior moment and actually missed listing THE most stunning wildflower in my top ten! It is a very rare plant but found in 58 varieties around the world – a dozen in the US and I have located three. One was at my cabin on the Georgia-Tennessee state line where I had a group of Yellow Lady Slippers – Cypripedium parviflorum. Another was on a ridge overlooking the Ohio River in Southern Indiana – Showy Lady’s Slipper – Cypripedium reginae. And the last discovery was on a bear-laden trail up Cove Mountain in the Smokies – the Pink Lady’s Slipper – Cypripedium acaule.
The pouch in the Lady’s Slipper looks similar to insect trapping flowers but the Lady’s Slipper is not an insectivore. The pouch supposedly assists native bees in pollination although I have never seen the pollinator. The root system is very shallow and spreads laterally through the leaf debris of the previous Fall making it more difficult to replicate in a home garden. Most of the different Lady Slipper varieties are in China and Russia with one in Europe. In the US, most species are on the west coast and throughout Canada, although it occasionally can be found as far south as Georgia. Wherever you find it, please do not disburb the Lady Slipper as it is a very rare jewel.
Just for fun, here are a few more varieties that can be found along the west coast.
So how could I possibly miss naming the Lady Slipper as my #1 wildflower? Please take a moment and look back on the”top ten +1″ wildflowers in this series and let me know which one is your favorite. You can respond by adding a comment on the article of your choice or send me a short message on my e-mail –Ghart@students.kennesaw.edu. Thanks! This series was a lot of fun to do and share.