The flower of this species is of the same size and shape as that of the Yellow variety, but the lip is pure white outside and striped with purple inside at the base; the two lateral sepals and the two petals are ovate-lanceolate, greenish, spotted with brown. It is a single flowered species with numerous leaves. It is found in swamps from N. Y. and Minn, southwards.
Moccasin Flower. Cypripedium acaule.
Pink Lady's Slipper; Moccasin Flower (Cypripedium Acaule) has solitary flowers surmounting a scape from 8 to 12 in. high; lip large, drooping, pink, with a slit in front, instead of a circular opening as in the others. It frequents dry woods and may be found from southern Canada, southwards.
This is the most common of the Lady's Slippers and too in my mind is not less beautiful than any of the others. I rather think that if.it were as rare as the Ram's Head, it would be regarded and prized as one of the most beautiful and exquisite flowers that we have. Among all our plant families none are so exclusively adapted to fertilization by insects as those comprising the orchids. The flower of the present species is a very ingenious contrivance; it is fertilized by the common bumblebee. He knows there is plenty of food in the interior of the pink sac. The only chance for entrance is through the fissure in the front; it requires considerable pressure to force his burly frame through, but at length he succeeds and the aperture closes behind him. After eating his fill he takes the easiest way out, towards the base where he can see two spots of light. As he forces his way through the narrow passage he comes in contact with a sticky stigma, armed with in-curving hairs which remove any pollen he may have on his back; as he continues his struggle out he reaches an anther blocking the passage and waiting to clap its load of pollen on his back. Thus when he emerges he is fully charged with pollen to deposit on the stigma of the next flower visited. If you notice you will see that bees continue feeding on the same species of flowers and will pass by those of other species. This habit is Nature's protection against leaving the pollen of one plant at the door of another entirely different species, where it would do no good.
A. Green Wood Orchis.
B. Green Fringed Orchis.
Green Wood Orchis (Habenaria Clavellata) has from three to sixteen inconspieious greenish flowers in a loose spike at the top of a stem from 6 to 18 in. high; lip oblong and with three teeth; spur long, slender and curved upwards and to one side. One or two oblong-lanceolate leaves with obtuse tips, clasp the stem near the base while several small bracts alternate along it. Grows in bogs from Newfoundland to Minn, and southwards.