> Tobermory Orchid Festival

Yellow Ladyslipper

Yellow Ladyslipper

May 29, 2004

A breathtaking clump of Ladyslippers, or Cypripedium calceolus. They were in the Cyprus Lake campground, right beside the road leading into the overflow parking lot, the first of the season. By now, the Bruce Peninsula will be a sea of yellow, apparently they grow everywhere. Cottagers, and people with more nefarious motives, dig them up to take home to their own gardens, thinking that there are so many, they must be easy to grow. They're not. They need a particular fungus in the soil to grow, and the very particular growing conditions that makes the Bruce so special and unusual.

On this same expedition, we saw Spotted Coralroot orchids, and Early Coralroot orchids in bloom. Apparently good finds, but frankly, these are flowers best appreciated under a microscope. In fact, a lovely Scottish fellow -- an elderly botanist trained in Edinburgh -- recommended that I carry a magnifying glass with me from now on, for this purpose.

Previous | Main | Next