Where to find Lady Slippers in Vermont
Eshqua Bog Natural Area, Hartland, VT – This sanctuary is owned and managed jointly with the Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. The 40-acre parcel completely surrounds and protects an 8-acre wetland that abounds in showy lady’s slippers (Cypripedium regiEshqua Bognae) and other wild orchids. A boardwalk allows easy viewing of the wetland plants while protecting their delicate habitat. To see the showy lady’s-slippers in bloom, plan to visit mid to late June.
- The Showy Lady’s-slipper (Cypripedium reginae), also known as the Pink-and-white Lady’s-slipper or the Queen’s Lady’s-slipper, is a rare, terrestrial, temperate, lady’s-slipper orchid native to northern North America.
- Despite producing a large amount of seeds per seed pod, it reproduces largely by vegetative reproduction, and remains restricted to the North East region of the United States and south east regions of Canada.
- Although never common, this rare plant has vanished from much of its historical range due to habitat loss. It has been a subject of horticultural interest for many years with Charles Darwin who like many, were unsuccessful in cultivating the plant.
- It is the state flower of Minnesota, United States and also the provincial flower of the province of Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Types of Lady Slippers
Pink lady slipper – Pink lady slipper (C.acaule) has deep pink flowers about 3 inches long and exhibits a slightly sweet-smelling aroma. It blooms from late June into July.
Yellow lady slipper – The yellow lady slipper (C. calceolus) blooms in early spring and is found mostly in rich woodlands or along the edges or elevated areas of bogs. Its counterpart, the large or greater yellow lady slipper (C. parviflorum pubescens) can grow up to two feet tall, with the flower petals up to 6 inches across.
Showy lady’s slipper – Showy lady’s slipper (C. reginae) is another large species, 1 to 2 feet tall, that grows naturally in bogs, swamps, wet meadows and damp woodlands. The white flower is streaked with pink and blooms in late spring/early summer.
White lady’s slipper – The small, white lady’s slipper (C. candidum) reaches anywhere from 6 to 12 inches in height. This particular species is considered endangered but may be available from reputable nurseries.