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Pink Lady's Slipper is a very attractive and popular plant because of the strange and beautiful pink flower. It is also rare and needs to be left alone in the few places it is surviving. The plant is actually an orchid with the alternate name of moccasin flower. The plant has two wide basal leaves that stay horizontal and a single stalk growing to about a foot high bearing the pink flower. Transplanting from the wild is strongly discouraged because of the rarity of the plant and the almost nil chances of success.
New plants are difficult to start because of the need for symbiotic fungi in supping nutrients to the seed. It takes years for the new plant to develop leaves for supplying its own energy. The plant requires low pH, nutrient poor soil and other special conditions for successful establishment.
The various Lady's Slipper species are grown commercially in quantity and plants can be obtained by that means. One of the growers is Vermont Ladyslipper Company, 56 Leduc Road, New Haven, Vermont 05472-1000 (Web site http://www.vtlady slipper.com).
The Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus) is another species that is occasionally seen in our area.
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