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FOUND: Pink Lady Slipper

Aug 25, 2011 06:02PM ● Published by Anonymous

No, we are not talking about your grandmother’s bedroom slipper. The pink lady slipper is a rare flower sometimes found in the wooded areas of Maryland. They normally grow in especially shaded areas of a forest under pine trees, oaks, sweetgums, or red maples. This flower is most well-known for its slipper-like shape and tight petals that droop from its stem. The life of this flower is most interesting. In order for pollination to occur, a bumble bee must somehow squeeze into the tightly bound flower.

After he accomplishes this, and realizes he cannot go back out the way he came, this bee must climb past the stamen of the flower. In this way, a large amount of pollen attaches to the bee’s body as he exits through the back of the flower. The bumble bee must be tricked into getting trapped inside another lady slipper in order to actively fertilize the plants. This strange form of pollination is what makes this orchid such a rare find.

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