Handsome Slippers

The Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus) ist the largest and most impressive orchid in Europe. The common name explains to the similarity of its blossom to a slipper and also the German name means the same. The scientific name „calceolus“ is due to its habitat. The plant likes open woodlands on calcareous soils. It is an endangered species in Austria and it is most sensitive to changing habitats.  When I was younger I knew several places where I could find the „queen of orchids“ directly near my home – it has disappeared at nearly all of the habitats in the meantime. Because of its beauty the plants are also victims for being digged out by people to set them up in their own garden. Besides this is illegal -these tries are doomed to failure, because like most orchids it needs relationship to mycorrhizal fungi to grow.

 

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