Yellow and Purple Lady Slippers

Hey everyone! Welcome to floral weekends. This is a segment started by me where I write about some beautiful and strange flowers from all around the world.

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Hey everyone! So for today’s floral weekends, I bring to you “Yellow and Purple Lady Slippers”. What a fancy name right? Funny at the same time. LOL. So apparantly this flower is an extremely rare species of Britain and is apparantly more heavily guarded than the queen. The reason it has become rare is because of its virtual extinction because of human clearance of woodlands, grazing by sheeps finished the remaining. It has since become a protected species in the UK in 1975 under the Conservation of Wild Creatures and Wild Plants Act.

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Lady slippers are very slow growing plants. A plant usually grows for 11-12 years before it starts producing flowers. For germination of this plant, a specific material from the symbiotic association of a mycorrhizal fungus. In reality orchids are very difficult to propogate, many ex-situ methods have been devised for it. Once this plant was widespread in Europe and Asia, but then through 20th century because of forest clearance and uprooting by Victorians wiped out most of it. In 1917 the lady slipper was officially declared extinct but then it was found by botanists in golf course. You will now find this flower growing in North England, it was well known in  Cumbria, Durham, Yorkshire and areas of the southern Pennines in the Peak District of Derbyshire.

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Talking about the flower, it is 3/4th yellow colored, surrounded by purple petals. The yellow part looks like a pouch, more like little girls’ bellies. Maybe thats why the name. Actually its scientific name Cypripedium calceolus, the later name comes from the latin word that means shoe. Every stem of the plant supports upto 2 flowers only, you will rarely see 3.

The mere existence of such a species indicates how aesthetically diverse nature can be. n UK if you are spotted snipping one of the branches you could face a fine upto £5000. A number ofexpert botanists have tried to grow it in other parts of world but have failed. In fact its illegal to even touch the flower without having a special license for it, you could even face upto 6 months in jail.

Well thats all about this week’s Floral weekends. Whats your opinion about this beauty? Do let me know in the comments below.

 

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