Late Tuesday afternoon I called next door neighbour Jo to see if she wanted to go for one last look at the Lady Slippers. They are nearing the end of their blooming period. We headed west this time, we found several good stands, at the last place we stopped Jo hollered "Come look at this one, it is white!" Sometimes they fade in the sun and can look almost white. This one was different, it was a true blue "White Queen" or Cypripedium reginae forma albolabium. She was beautiful, Jo is a great explorer!
How rare is it? I am not sure, no one in Minnesota can tell me either. I did find out that they occur in just three locations in all of Ontario, Canada our neighbors to the north. I called the Minnesota State Botanist, Welby Smith, he must be out and about..because I am still waiting for him to return my call. I finally found his email address and sent him a photo..if that doesn’t get his interest nothing will. I do have some questions for him.. is this a true seedling variation? How often are they found in Minnesota and where?
The flower lesson for today.. Cypripedium is pronounced sip-rih-PEE-dee-um.. just in case you were wondering..rolls right off your tongue now doesn’t it:)