Monday, April 19, 2010

Pink Lady's Slipper - Cypripedium acaule

One of the floral highlights of hiking through the Red River Gorge this weekend was finding a patch of Pink Lady's Slipper or Pink Moccasin Flower in bloom. The specific epithet refers to the lack of a stem, with the flower coming right out of the basal leaves. This flower is interesting because it is a bog flower in northern Indiana, but in Kentucky it grows in dry, acidic woods. We saw several patches of basal leaves in open areas on ridge tops, but not blooming. This patch was sheltered and warmed by a rock face near the ridge top, most likely giving them a head start.

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