All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

<strong>Pink Lady's-Slipper Orchid</strong>
<em>Cypripedium acaule</em> / Orchid Family
<span style="color:purple;">Rare - Endangered in TN</span><br>
I found these beautiful wild orchids blooming in late April in Morgan County. Lady's Slipper Orchi...
Pink Lady's-Slipper Orchid
Cypripedium acaule / Orchid Family
Rare - Endangered in TN

I found these beautiful wild orchids blooming in late April in Morgan County. Lady's Slipper Orchids can only grow under special conditions, they need acidic soil and are often found under pine trees. There is a specific soil fungus (called "mycorrhiza") that must grow into the roots, without it the orchid will die. These orchids should never be dug from the woods or bought from individuals. It takes these plants 7 years to bloom from a microscopic seed, no nursery would cultivate a plant for that length of time, the cost would be much too high. It would be a shame to kill such beautiful plants. Please leave them in the forests where they belong! Some people may notice the similarity of this flower to a very personal part of a male's anatomy (I won't get too specific, this is a "family-friendly" site!). Actually, that is what the word "orchid" means. If a guy has an "orchidectomy", he has not had an orchid removed from his jacket lapel! :0
Perennial
Where seen:Frozen Head SP, University of Tennessee Arboretum, Great Smoky Mountains NP

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