Often in some favorable corner of a marsh, near the woods, we may see a dozen of these lovely plants, their robust leafy stalks sometimes as much as four feet tall, rearing their delicate spires of bloom above the lush grass. The long narrow leaves are bright-green and smooth and the numerous, small, delicate blossoms, sprinkled thickly along the stem, are pure white, each with a very long spur like a little tail, each with a green bract at the base of its little pedicel, and deliriously fragrant. There are several similar kinds, mostly with green flowers; this is the handsomest and least rare.
There are many kinds of Cypripedium, with large, broad leaves and one or several, large, drooping flowers, with two fertile anthers, with short filaments, one on each side of the column below the stigma, and a conspicuous, petallike, sterile anther, arching over the stigma. They are easily known by the curious lip, which is a large inflated sac, suggesting both the common names, Lady's Slipper and Indian Moccasin, and the Greek, meaning "foot of Venus."
Sierra Rein Orchis Limnorchis leuchostachys. LIZARD-TAIL FAMILY. Saururaceae.