March 30-April 6, 2012. It’s becoming a pilgrimage for us to go to Fort Yargo State Park each year to see the Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) orchid. A couple of plants grow along the trail south of the Fishing Area (segment 13). The plants are right beside the trail but I’ll bet that most people pass by without even seeing them. A week ago, I stopped by the park to see if they were blooming yet.
March 30th. The plants don’t stand out. It would be easy to miss them.
The blooms were just developing
A closer view
April 1st. We stopped by to see how far the flowers had developed and were a little surprised to see that the flowers had opened fully. The flowers were pale and the stems were still short.
April 6th. The plants beside the trail. They still don’t stand out. They’re in the center/bottom of the photo
The stalks are longer and the pink veins are clearly visible
A closer view
A favorite image originally posted in 2011. (The seedpod to the left of the flower is from a Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata) plant.
In addition to this site, at Fort Yargo State Park, we’ve seen a single plant along segment 1 and a colony of 20 or more plants on a hillside along segment 3. We’ve also seen a small colony of about 20 plants in a small grove along the Forest Trail in the Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve.
Cypripedium acaule (Pink Lady’s Slipper; Mocassin Flower) is native to most of Canada excluding British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. In the United States, it grows in states including and east of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama; it does not grow in Florida. In Georgia it has been documents only in a few counties in north Georgia.
Cypripedium acaule is considered unusual in Georgia although it is relatively abundant and occurs in almost all north Georgia counties.. It is on the state list primarily because ‘of the threat posed by poachers, who dig the plants for their gardens or for commercial sale. Plants dug from the wild and transplanted into gardens rarely survive for very long.’
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- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Cypripedium acaule (Moccasin Flower)
- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Cypripedium acaule
- Southeastern Flora: Cypripedium acaule (Pink Lady's Slipper Orchid)
- Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Cypripedium acaule (Pink Lady's Slipper, Mocassin Flower)
- Pink Lady's Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium acaule)
- Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve: Arabia Lake Trail – Forest Trail
- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower