Friday, May 4, 2007
A pair of slippers
The lady's slipper (a.k.a. moccasin flower) grows in pine forests from the Gulf Coast in the south far up north into Canada. Although its habitat is wide and varied, the lady's slipper is considered threatened. In fact, in Tennessee it is officially protected as an endangered plant. I suppose this is because it's so beautiful and unique that people can't resist removing the flowers either for themselves or for commercial gain. The problem is that this flower's root system is so delicate and it grows under such specific conditions that transplanting is very rarely successful. Lady slippers require highly acidic soil and the presence of a specific fungus for their growth. While a transplant might seem successful, most die within a few short years. If you really love these plants, the best thing to do is to admire them, take some photos, and let them be.