Montana Outdoors

June 7, 2010

The Ladyslippers

After a very strange winter, the blooming schedule of many of our wildflowers has been different this spring. I feared that I had missed these or that they would not have a good year: neither was true. They are now in full bloom and they seem to be in even greater numbers than usual.

Mountain LadyslipperMountain Ladyslipper, Cypripedium montanum, Orchid family

Mountain Ladyslipper

Mountain Ladyslipper

Last week I also encountered quite a few plants with blossoms that had not yet opened and I nearly failed to recognize them. That was the first time I have seen them at that stage.

Mountain Ladyslipper

Mountain Ladyslipper

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16 Comments »

  1. Nice find! they are very rare here in the Adirondacks.

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    Comment by Cedar — June 7, 2010 @ 9:43 am

    • It was a long time before I found them here for some reason, but there are lots of them around. They are right now at the peak of their blooming season and I’ve seen them just about everywhere I’ve been the last few days. This is a good year for them, maybe because of the very wet May.

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      Comment by montucky — June 7, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

  2. I’ve never seen one close up. They DO look like little slippers!

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    Comment by Barbara — June 7, 2010 @ 10:58 am

    • Yes, this is another wildflower that I think is well named. Their construction and colors are fascinating.

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      Comment by montucky — June 7, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

  3. These are something I have never before seen! Very lovely!

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — June 7, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    • There are a number of Orchids that are native to this region and this is one of the two that I like best, the other being the Calypso Orchid. This one is also large enough that you can see it well without magnification. THere are yellow ones too, but I have never seen one of them.

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      Comment by montucky — June 7, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

  4. Lovely. I am a big fan of ladyslippers.

    In Wisconsin, it is quite easy to see yellow ladyslippers, but the showy ladies (pink and white) are getting much harder to find. Deer eat them, seem to especially enjoy them as a delicacy!

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    Comment by Bo Mackison — June 7, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

    • I’d love to see the yellow ones! I’ve noticed that many of the Ladyslippers grow back inside and under the cover of other low bushes. Perhaps that’s a strategy to avoid the deer.

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      Comment by montucky — June 7, 2010 @ 11:20 pm

  5. The are such unique looking Ladyslippers and I don’t believe I’ve seen before. Great captures. I really like the expressive 2nd phot of the Ladyslipper.

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    Comment by Anna — June 8, 2010 @ 6:24 am

    • They are unique blossoms. I love seeing them and have taken far too many photos of them, but always one more. At this time I see more of them each time I go out so they’re having a very good year.

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      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

  6. I agree, they do really look like a lady’s slipper. Very lovely.

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    Comment by Candace — June 8, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

    • They are intricate little things and fairly easy to spot if they are at all in the open.

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      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

  7. so the strange winter is allowing you a different view of some of your favorites, how fun!

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    Comment by silken — June 9, 2010 @ 7:41 am

    • It makes it interesting! I wish I had a background in botany to better appreciate it though.

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      Comment by montucky — June 9, 2010 @ 10:20 pm

  8. Lucky you! I love the buds. I don’t think I have ever seen them in bud form. I just missed lady slippers in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I saw several patches on our hike, but the blooms had already faded.

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    Comment by kateri — June 10, 2010 @ 10:42 am

    • Interesting how the plants in that area is so far ahead of us here. It must be the difference in latitude that causes that.

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      Comment by montucky — June 10, 2010 @ 9:47 pm


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