Montana Outdoors

June 14, 2011

“Moccasins”

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:41 pm

Mountain Ladyslipper

Mountain Ladyslipper

Mountain Ladyslipper

Mountain Ladyslipper

Mountain Ladyslipper ~ Cypripedium montanum

Many years ago the Okanagan people of British Columbia called these “moccasins” but personally I prefer their present common name. I’ve seen them rather infrequently in some years, but this year they seem to be very plentiful and so even in places where I’ve not seen them before. Must be they liked the deep winter snow. For me, seeing them in bloom is a real highlight of late spring.

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31 Comments »

  1. Moccasins or lady slippers are Minnesota’s state flower. I haven’t seen any for many years. They are much fewer in number than when I was a child, but I think I’ll make a point of going to where they most likely will be. I would love to see one again. Your photos are exquisite. Thank you for this lovely reminder of these sweet little beauties this June morning.

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    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — June 15, 2011 @ 4:34 am

    • I would really miss them if they were not around. On a short hike last evening I saw lots of them along a mile stretch of a forest road, many more than usual, and very healthy looking plants.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

  2. I have only seen these once in the wild and your pictures reminded me of that beautiful area and how long ago it was that I visited. A nice memory and a good reminder of an area I should visit again. Your captures are so beautiful. Thank you!

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    Comment by anniespickns — June 15, 2011 @ 7:09 am

    • They are intriguing little blossoms, aren’t they! A few years ago I started noting as a part of my photo records the locations where the photos were taken. There are quite a few flowers like these that I don’t want to miss.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

  3. Hi Montucky, I have never seen these wildlflowers. They look like they are a type of orchid but I could be wrong. Beautiful flowers! Have a wonderful day today!

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — June 15, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    • This particular species is found only in the 5 northwestern states plus California, Alaska and the three western provinces of Canada. I see on USDA Plants though that members of the genus (Cypripedium) are found in all states except Nevada. Yes, they are orchids and I think that makes them kind of special too.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

  4. Gorgeous stuff, Montucky. Love the double one. And such deep colors. We get pink or yellow varieties here. I think I like yours though — real character.

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    Comment by Bo Mackison — June 15, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    • I wish I could see the other colors, but they don’t seem to grow here. These are large enough to be easily seen, although they will sometimes hide in other foliage.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

  5. I LOVE the photo with 2 blooms. (Moccasins belong in pairs anyway, don’t they?)

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    Comment by Kim — June 15, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    • They do! This year I’ve seen more plants than usual with many flowers.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

  6. I agree with you … the lady slippers are definitely a Spring highlight. I have never found any like your variety around here – I wonder if there is any significance in the number of red spots in the yellow (besides adding character).
    How large are these? I found the small yellow moccasin last week (size is about 1/2 my thumb). The large (several inches long) showy pink lady slippers (our State Flower) still has at least 6 inches to grow before it will bloom. I am looking forward to them to pop open in about 2 weeks. Thanks for sharing your slippers.

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    Comment by bearyweather — June 15, 2011 @ 10:53 am

    • I’ve wondered about the red spots too. There doesn’t seem to be much of a pattern. These blossoms are about an inch long.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

  7. What an absolutely cool flower and great photos of it!!

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    Comment by mitambien — June 15, 2011 @ 11:59 am

    • It has an interesting configuration, doesn’t it! I wonder how that came about!

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  8. =() I thought you got really really close to a pregnant spider, at first! LoL!

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    Comment by Tricia — June 15, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

    • Speaking of spiders, I can’t remember seeing the little crab spiders on any of these.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

      • They’re missing in action… wonder what that means?

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        Comment by Tricia — June 16, 2011 @ 7:20 am

  9. Now, that is different, and very beautiful. I haven’t even seen them in books. The slippers here are also called moccasin flowers, but I never do.
    I like how the dark part twirls like satin ribbon.

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    Comment by sandy — June 15, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    • I think they are beautiful too, and they are large enough to enjoy without magnification.

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      Comment by montucky — June 15, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

  10. They are so pretty! I’ve never seen them blooming myself…. only in pictures.

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    Comment by thedailyclick — June 15, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

    • They are even prettier seen in person and large enough to be able to see the detail.

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      Comment by montucky — June 16, 2011 @ 11:35 pm

  11. It was only about three years ago that I got my first good look at them and now I would be very sad to miss their blooming season.

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    Comment by montucky — June 15, 2011 @ 9:51 pm

  12. Boy did I ease into this one… with a title like moccasins there was a slight possibility of a snake somewhere. I much prefer the beautiful slippers over snakes!! 🙂

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    Comment by kcjewel — June 16, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

    • Well, we don’t have that kind of moccasins in Montana. I like snakes, but prefer the ladyslippers too.

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      Comment by montucky — June 16, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

  13. Incredible flower, sigh. Thank You again presenting wonders of Your world.

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    Comment by sartenada — June 16, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

  14. The Mountain Ladyslipper is about the oddest and most intriguing wildflower….. like outside the box creativity by the Creator. 🙂

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    Comment by Anna — June 17, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    • Yes, it’s really different. I don’t understand exactly what purpose the big pouch serves or why there are stripes inside it.

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      Comment by montucky — June 17, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

  15. They are one of the prettiest and most unusual wildflowers you have been showing. And, I agree, they look more like ladyslippers than mocs.

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    Comment by Candace — June 18, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

    • I agree. I really like these and it’s so nice this year to see so many of them and in so many different places.

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      Comment by montucky — June 18, 2011 @ 8:53 pm


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