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Ramshead Lady Slipper (arietinum)

The ramshead lady slipper is a rare find in Nova Scotia. The "ramshead" is tiny compared to the other three lady slippers: the Yellow Lady Slipper, the Pink Lady Slipper and the Showy Lady Slipper. It is but a pink and white little ball tucked into the top of the plant and could easily be missed unless one knows what to look for. It reminded me of a miniature Iris with its several linear leaves clasping the stem the last of them acting somewhat like a hood over the flower. The ram's head likes to be up on the ridges above outcroppings of limestone, at least that is where we found them. Not too many people have seen the ramshead; and, if you should be one of them, consider yourself privileged.

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Peter Landry

2011