Scape. - Eight to twelve inches high, two-leaved at base, downy, one-flowered. Leaves. - Two, large, many-nerved and plaited, sheathing at the base. Flower. - Solitary, purple-pink. Perianth. - Of three greenish spreading sepals, the two lateral petals narrow, spreading, greenish, the pink lip in the shape of a large inflated pouch. Stamens. - Two, the short filaments each bearing a two-celled anther. Stigma. - Broad, obscurely three-lobed, moist and roughish.
Graceful and tall the slender, drooping stem, With two broad leaves below, Shapely the flower so lightly poised between, And warm her rosy glow, writes Elaine Goodale of the moccason-flower. This is a blossom whose charm never wanes. It seems to be touched with the spirit of the deep woods, and there is a certain fitness in its Indian name, for it looks as though it came direct from the home of the red man. All who have found it in its secluded haunts will sympathize with Mr. Higginson's feeling that each specimen is a rarity, even though he should find a hundred to an acre. Gray assigns it to "dry or moist woods," while Mr. Baldwin writes : "The finest specimens I ever saw sprang out of cushions of crisp reindeer moss high up among the rocks of an exposed hill-side, and again I have found it growing vigorously in almost open swamps, but nearly colorless from excessive moisture." The same writer quotes a lady who is familiar with it in the Adirondacks. She says : "It seems to have a great fondness for decaying wood, and I often see a whole row perched like birds along a crumbling log." While I recall a mountain lake where the steep cliffs rise from the water's edge, here and there, on a tiny shelf strewn with pine-needles, can be seen a pair of large veiny leaves, above which, in early June, the pink balloonlike blossom floats from its slender scape.
Plate LXIV. Pink Lady's Slipper. - C. acaule