Saturday, July 12, 2008

Calypso Orchid

There is a lovely cluster of Calypso Orchids by the Lost Lake trail that I'm sure most people walk on by. But those who keep their eyes open will discover a little cove of wildflower treasure.

I learned that Calypso Orchids are really fragile. When someone even gently picks a flower the tender rootlets attached to the underground corm are broken and the Western Fairyslipper usually dies. This most beautiful of orchids is not endangered, but it needs a special combination of shade, moisture and soil difficult to find out of an old growth forest. It gets some nourishment from it's single leaf, but also has a partnership with fungus to get nourishment from the roots of trees. Washington Native Orchid web page has more about these magenta jewels of forest.

3 bouquets of wildflowers (Comment here):

troutbirder said...

Absolutely stunning native orchid pictures. The calyso is I think the rarest orchid here in Minnesota. I did a blog entry a few weeks back on "white ladyslippers" I found in northeastern Iowa. RE your question I ran across in "Shady Gardeners" blog the "Hayden Prairie" south of Lime Spring in Iowa is about 500 acres of allegedly never been plowed soil. Next month it will be especially awesome is you travel that way.

La Tea Dah said...

Our Calypso's this year lasted exactly one week --- even in Lady Slipper Hollow where I usually find many. First, summer was so late in arriving, and then it was quickly hot and they could not survive well. The shooting stars were the same. What an interesting summer.


Theresa said...

Pretty! I haven't seen those before.