Lady’s Slippers are our mysterious native orchids.
These plants have two unusual needs. First, they must trap and seduce bees and other pollinators to reproduce. Pollinators are enticed to enter a slit in the flower’s sweet-smelling pouch, which closes on them. To get out, they have to squeeze through hairs and pollinate the flower’s stigma with pollen from their visits to other flowers.
Second, Lady’s Slippers depend on threads of a fungus (Rhizoctonia genus) to open and pass on food to their seeds.
Locally, we’ve seen only the pink variety of Slippers, but the rare white variety may be seen at the nearby Orono Bog, which is where this image was taken: