Montana Outdoors

May 5, 2018


Filed under: Teepee-Spring Creek roadless area, Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 3:50 pm

Fairy Slipper, Calypso Orchid

Fairy Slipper, Calypso Orchid

Fairyslipper, Calypso orchid ~ Calypso bulbosa

This little orchid called “Fairyslipper” or sometimes “Calypso Orchid” is the first to bloom of the dozen or so wild orchids native to this area. It is named after Calypso, a beautiful little sea nymph and the daughter of the god Atlas who was found by Ulysses when he was wrecked on the island of Ogygia in Homer’s Odessey. The name means “concealment” and I think it is an apt name for this flower. They have not been plentiful this year and these two are the only nice specimens that I’ve encountered so far. These two are growing at about 3,600 feet in elevation along the Munson Creek trail (USFS trail 372) in the Teepee-Spring Creek roadless area.


  1. So beautiful!
    I also posted one. It is still early in the season up here.
    Last year was an amazing year for them, I saw so many. Makes me wonder what they will be like after an even larger longer more snow winter.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Tammie — May 5, 2018 @ 7:09 pm

    • I have seen only a few and wondered if it was just too early.


      Comment by montucky — May 5, 2018 @ 7:48 pm

  2. I love orchids but these are special. I would love to find one in nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — May 5, 2018 @ 7:19 pm

  3. Yep, I can imagine fairies wearing those!

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by de Wets Wild — May 5, 2018 @ 8:15 pm

  4. I love the name, fairy slippers. How apt for this dainty orchid.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Candice — May 5, 2018 @ 9:24 pm

    • I like the name too. They are very shy little ones, living beneath the forest canopy, usually in heavy brush and ground cover.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by montucky — May 5, 2018 @ 9:31 pm

  5. There’s nothing more fun than finding hidden treasures, and that’s exactly what these are. They do look rather like ballet slippers, with ribbons tied at the top. It always amazes me to see the complexity of these flowers; so much pattern and color in such a tiny space.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by shoreacres — May 5, 2018 @ 10:36 pm

    • This one is particularly ornate and complex. It is very delicate and usually lives in very thick cover. I wonder why.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 6, 2018 @ 7:45 am

  6. Thanks for sharing 🙂 I grew up in Minnesota and there was a ‘Lady Slipper’ orchid {MN State Flower} very similar to Fairyslipper ‘)

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Washe Koda — May 6, 2018 @ 3:11 am

    • I just looked up that Lady Slipper and it is just beautiful. I had never seen or heard of it before. The “Lady Slipper” that we have here is a similar configuration, but it is only white or yellow.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 6, 2018 @ 7:51 am

  7. Beautifully unique in shape and colors!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — May 6, 2018 @ 7:44 am

    • I think it is the most complex wildflower in this region in both shape and coloring. They are disappearing in the areas where there is much human activity, but seem to be doing well in the more remote mountain areas.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 6, 2018 @ 7:53 am

  8. Your photos are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by llzranch — May 6, 2018 @ 8:25 am

  9. That is one of the most beautiful native orchids that I’ve seen. Well worth looking for!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 6, 2018 @ 2:41 pm

  10. Have you ever seen the the fairy who wears these lovely slippers?
    Happy Montana spring, Montucky!🌸🌻

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Mary Strong-Spaid — May 6, 2018 @ 7:08 pm

    • I haven’t. But were I to see her I think there would be a new love in my life. Happy Spring, Mary!


      Comment by montucky — May 6, 2018 @ 7:39 pm

  11. I always enjoy your spring finds! It is interesting how much earlier flowers bloom at your elevations in comparison to our bloom times here in the Foothills of Alberta!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Margy — May 7, 2018 @ 4:02 pm

    • We are at about 2400 feet, but also quite a ways south. I’m glad you like seeing the flowers!


      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2018 @ 7:10 pm

      • I like it when people post excellent plant photos and take the time to identify them properly. If the photographer adds enough information that a search for a ‘yellow wildflower violet’ brings up some suggestions as to what the violet is called – then life is good! Same with bird photos.
        Microclimates – we’re on the prairies, just miles from the foothills of the Rockies, elevation about 3600 ft. We’re also rural. Add those factors together, and our growing season can be up to 2 weeks shorter than someone in the city 20 miles south of us!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Margy — May 8, 2018 @ 10:36 am

        • Your higher elevation makes a big difference in the blooming times. A lot of the trails that I hike on here start low and end up around 7,000 feet, so I see how elevation affects the plant cycles. I do my best to identify the plants that I photograph so that people can search by species for more information. Also, I’ve noticed that Google images picks up photos that I post, usually within 15 minutes and there you can find lots of images of plant species.


          Comment by montucky — May 8, 2018 @ 11:00 am

  12. Delighted to see these little orchids. They are one of my favourite flowers. We have a few in our woods but I think it will be a few weeks before they pop up — meanwhile, I can enjoy yours!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Sally — May 7, 2018 @ 7:11 pm

  13. Very pretty and a superb image of them too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — May 7, 2018 @ 7:15 pm

    • Thanks Vicki! Good to see you back on line again!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2018 @ 7:17 pm

      • Maybe it was only a couple of days off, but to be honest it seems like a couple of years since I had such a quick upload, download and scrolling capability. 24 hours later, I’m still awed at the speed of my computer and while still not able to walk far outdoors at the moment, I’ll be able to post more from my archives again in the coming days. I think we’ll have some flower shots from the early archives for a while.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Vicki — May 8, 2018 @ 9:08 am

  14. Beautiful. Thank You for Your explanation!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Sartenada — May 8, 2018 @ 12:41 am

  15. I always enjoy seeing your photos of these since they really do look like fairy slippers.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Candace — May 9, 2018 @ 9:14 pm

  16. Perfectly named .. I hope you find more 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Julie@frogpondfarm — May 10, 2018 @ 12:17 am

  17. Hi, just wanted to say, I loved this post. It was inspiring.

    Keep on posting!


    Comment by how to plant ground cover flowers — April 16, 2019 @ 11:09 am

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