Prince Edward Island (PEI) is a small island tucked in between three other provinces on the Atlantic side. The orchid Cypripedium acaule is the provincial flower for our smallest province and is probably one of the prettiest native orchids we have. It is more familiarly known as the Pink Lady's Slipper. It is a pink flowering orchid but there is also a white version out there in the wild.
The Pink Lady's Slipper stands about six to fifteen inches with two oval shaped basal leaves. Each stalk carries a single flower. The pouch of the C. acaule opens in a slit that runs down the front of the labellum rather than a round opening and is the only orchid known to do this. The sepals vary from yellow-brown to maroon and the pouch colour ranges from deep rose to white. The Pink Lady's Slipper blooms between April and June preferably in a naturally wet habitat. It can be found in dry to wet forests, bogs, brushy barrens, heath, and roadsides in highly acidic soil. Because of a fungus needed for growth, and high acid requirements, C. acaule is difficult to grow in the average garden and is unlikely to survive attempts at transplantation. If the plant's blossom does not cycle through, it will not regenerate; for this reason, it is recommended that the flower not be picked.
C. acaule can be found in the eastern third of the United States and north into Canada, coming very close to the Arctic circle. It is considered endangered in Illinois and Tennessee, Vulnerable in New York, and Unusual in Georgia.
Pink Lady's Slipper was used by the various Indian tribes for male disorders which may mean urinary tract problems. It has also been used for love potions and sedatives.
Pink Lady's Slipper is also known as Moccasin Flower, Two-leaved Lady's Slipper, and the Stemless Lady's-slipper.
|photos from wikipedia|
Where is Prince Edward Island?
PEI is that small island above New Brunswick (green) and Nova Scotia (orange).