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Showy Lady Slipper (reginae)

The "showy" is difficult to find, it is not likely you will see it on a regular trail; it has to be sought out and will mean tramping through a bog. The reward of seeing this beautiful flowery product of nature is one a flower lover will treasure. The description of the showy lady's slipper will be much like that of the yellow lady's slipper except it is considerably larger, indeed, the tallest of our northern native orchids. Its stout, hairy, often twisted, leafy stalk bears one to three large flowers with a white and pink, pouch-like lip petal. The lip is upwards to three inches long; the leaves up to ten inches long, ribbed and elliptic. They will be found in "swamps, moist woods, especially limestone sites." (Audubon.) The "showy" likes calcareous soil, so look for alkaline bogs; its reported they are often to be found "in tamarack swamps." (Holland.) A warning is appropriate: the "glandular hairs of the foliage may cause a rash similar to that caused by Poison Ivy." (Audubon.)

Showy Lady Slipper

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Peter Landry

2011