Family, Orchis. Color, pink, with darker lines, rarely white. The color lies in the large, saccate lip; the 3 narrow sepals and 2 small petals are a greenish purple or brown. They are inconspicuous beside the large pocket which hangs from the upright, leafless scape. Leaves, a pair, near the base of the stem, oval, 6 to 8 inches long, 2 or 3 wide, sessile, clasping. Stem, 1/2 to 1 foot high. A bract is found near the flower. May and June.
Among my earliest recollections are those of a wonderful grove of tall white pines, where it seemed to me all the fairy flowers grew. It bordered a lake, and in the early spring the moccasin flower fairly dotted the grove as the feet of the red men with their moccasins may have trodden there years ago. Neither rocks nor a swamp were there, but many inches of soft, dead pine needles, and mossy cushions made the homes of the Lady's Slipper. And since then, I find it everywhere in the pine woods of Long Island. Wherever found it is the very essence of the woods exultant in the new spring, and it should never be torn from its lovely retreat to pine in some parlor vase, or still worse, to decorate a lady's belt. From Newfoundland, south to North Carolina, and westward.