Pink Lady's Slipper
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)
General - a perennial orchid emerging from thickened roots; displaying 2 basal leaves and a large, showy flower on an erect stalk, growing 20 - 30 cm tall.
Leaves - simple; 2 basal leaves at stem base, large (10 - 20 cm long), almost opposite; elliptic, tapering to a pointed tip, sparsely hairy, with conspicuous parallel veins.
Flowers - solitary; pink (sometimes white) with reddish veins to greenish-brown; lip large, inflated into showy pounch, cleft on the upper side; single green bract arching forward from the stalk over the flower;appearing early summer.
Fruit -ascending brown capsules under the floral bract with thousands of tiny seeds; developing thoughout midsummer.
Infrequent but adaptable; in bogs, open woods, sand dunes; in dry/fresh, jackpine and black spruce forests on sandy and coarse loamy soils.
Similar species are Cypripedium calceolus Yellow Lady's Slipper and Cypripedium reginae Showy Lady's Slipper, with white and pink flowers.
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