C. acuale growing in a woodland environment. This is a great shot to demonstrate the habitiast it likes, I think. Maple tree seedlings and Lycopodium abound, belying a poorly lit, moist acidic environment.

I was fortunate to be invited to a neighbors property to observe their Ladyslippers (Cypredium acaule). These are also called Moccasin Flowers, by native Americans, so that may be more appropriate. 

C. acaule is quite rare, and typically one sees one or two in a given location, and no more. At this particular location, we counted hundreds spread out over 10 acres of woods. 

Many of the places that we saw the Moccasin Flower, they were hiding in plain sight. They just seemed to pop up out of the ferns.

Interestingly, C acaule, has a symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil, In order to survive and reproduce, "pink lady's slipper interacts with a fungus in the soil from the Rhizoctonia genus. Generally, orchid seeds do not have food supplies inside them like most other kinds of seeds. Pink lady’s slipper seeds require threads of the fungus to break open the seed and attach them to it. The fungus will pass on food and nutrients to the pink lady's slipper seed. When the lady’s slipper plant is older and producing most of its own nutrients, the fungus will extract nutrients from the orchid roots." (from USDA information).

C. acaule, also is quite widespread through out the northern parts of the East and almost all across Canada.

It was great too, to see young Moccasin Flowers growing near their parents

From what I gathered too, talking to the owners of the property where the Moccasin Flowers were growing, they are very unpredictable in appearance. One year a spot had dozens and dozens of blooming plants and this year only two plants were present.

The flowers of C. acaule is quite unusual looking! 

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