Montana Outdoors

May 2, 2012

White Calypso

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:59 pm

Over the last few days I’ve encountered about a dozen new wildflowers that have started to bloom and I will post photos of them in the coming days, but just before dark this evening on walk in the rain on the Spring Creek trail I found a pleasant surprise and it kind of moved to the front of the line; this white Fairyslipper. I greatly look forward to seeing these shy little orchids bloom each May but I have never before come across a white one.

Fairyslipper, Calypso Orchid

Fairyslipper, Calypso Orchid

Fairyslipper, Calypso Orchid, Calypso bulbosa


  1. They are so pretty and so aptly-named. I remember thinking that last year, too, when I saw your photos of them.


    Comment by Candace — May 2, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    • Yes, they are well named. They do tend to hide in the bushes and they are very delicate little things. I have read that they are rapidly being exterminated in populated areas because people pick the blossoms which kills the plant.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2012 @ 12:03 am

  2. This is exquisite! What an amazing discovery.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — May 3, 2012 @ 12:42 am

    • These are fairly common here but they are usually pink. This is the first white one I’ve ever seen. They are just beginning to bloom now, and I am looking forward to getting a few shots of them a little later.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2012 @ 8:15 am

  3. Wow – she’s beautiful!

    I hope there are enough in unpopulated areas to ensure their survival.


    Comment by Finn Holding — May 3, 2012 @ 2:53 am

    • Fortunately there are, and because they tend to “hide” in fairly thick brush where people don’t walk anyway helps their survival.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2012 @ 8:18 am

  4. I am continually amazed at the beauty in this world. Thank you for paying attention and capturing it in your images.


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — May 3, 2012 @ 4:35 am

    • I am too, Teresa. I was lucky to find this one because it is growing in an area that has quite a few trilliums and a small splash of white is not unusual. Wildflowers completely amaze me with their beauty and with all of the different varieties.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2012 @ 8:20 am

  5. They are so unique, they look like they come from a different world.


    Comment by bearyweather — May 3, 2012 @ 6:05 am

    • Yes, they are certainly a unique little flower and live in their own little worlds. They require the presence of certain fungi to grow and therefore canot be transplanted successfully.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2012 @ 8:25 am

  6. That’s a beauty that I’ve never seen or heard of. It sounds like there is a possibility of it growing here, if you can believe what you read.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 3, 2012 @ 6:47 am

    • Yes, I see that you are within their distribution area. They are quite small and nearly always back under low-growing bushes. Look for their pink color about 3 inches or so from the ground. The small spot of color gives them away.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2012 @ 8:30 am

  7. I’ve never put “orchid” and “Montana” together, that’s for sure. It’s a beautiful plant, and the fact that it’s growing there means I have some real misconceptions about orchids. Time for a little self-education!


    Comment by shoreacres — May 3, 2012 @ 8:04 am

    • I thought the same thing until I found a few. Actually, we have over a dozen species here, some of which are saprophytic. The most well known orchids we have are Ladyslippers.

      I spend a lot of time hiking forest trails, most of which were made in the 1930’s for access to the higher peaks where fire lookouts were built. They receive very little traffic now, all of it by foot or horseback, and start at valley level (around 2400 feet in this area) and continue to the peaks at just over 7000 feet, giving excellent access to pretty much undisturbed habitat in different climate conditions and altitudes. Nearly all of the orchids that I encounter, outside of the ladyslippers, are along or near these trails where they have natural and undisturbed settings in which to grow.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2012 @ 8:44 am

  8. So very unique! What a find!


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — May 3, 2012 @ 10:06 am

    • I see the pink ones every year. They are blooming right now, too, but this was the first white one I’ve seen. Interesting because last year I saw white shooting stars for the first time.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

  9. looks like a sea creature =o)


    Comment by Sandy — May 3, 2012 @ 10:53 am

  10. Super photo Montucky. Thanks for the treat…we are to far south here in Pa to have them growing in the woods…according to the USDA map. Darn!


    Comment by dhphotosite — May 3, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

    • I wish you had them there; they are pretty and interesting. I ran into this one yesterday and decided I’d better look for some today. They are blooming now and I nearly missed them (at least at this elevation). Today I get some shots of them, but mostly got wet.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

  11. What an other-worldly look that has! No wonder you had to move it to the front of the queue.


    Comment by jomegat — May 3, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

    • They sure are different, aren’t they! think they are one of the prettiest wildflowers.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

  12. These are so delicate. Very similar to a flower I’ve seen in the White Mountains in New Hamphsire. Maybe a cousin, I’ll look it up!


    Comment by Wild_Bill — May 3, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

    • I see that they do grow in New Hampshire but they are endangered there.


      Comment by montucky — May 3, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

  13. Very “exotic” orchid and in white it might be rare? Great macros again.


    Comment by Sartenada — May 4, 2012 @ 3:28 am

    • I have seen a photo of a white one, but this is the first I’ve encountered myself, so I don’t know if it is rare or just unusual.


      Comment by montucky — May 4, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

  14. Great find! It’s beautiful!


    Comment by TheDailyClick — May 4, 2012 @ 4:23 am

  15. I learn something from every one of your posts, Montucky. White calypso, who knew?
    Thanks for sharing.


    Comment by Kim — May 4, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

    • I nearly overlooked it thinking it was just a small trillium, but something looked enough different that I looked closer. There was only one.


      Comment by montucky — May 4, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

  16. Wow, that’s a cool orchid! Apparently they can show a large color variation, but whiter forms are rare.


    Comment by Sophie — May 5, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    • I’ve seen slight color variations, but so far only the one white one. Thanks for the link! There are some interesting colors there!


      Comment by montucky — May 5, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

  17. Now you’re on a roll. Happy spring and especially happy orchid.


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — May 5, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

    • Well, the flowers are starting to bloom finally. Now the challenge will be to visit some of the higher elevations.


      Comment by montucky — May 5, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

  18. This is exquisite!


    Comment by kateri — May 6, 2012 @ 8:05 am

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