Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Three Orchids near Wauconda

Another location I visited on May 20th, but much further north, was a site where the Eastern Fairy Slipper, Calypso bulbosa var. americana, grows in abundance, but I found it near the end of its bloom season and early like everything else.  This variety of the Fairy Slipper is very different from the Western Fairy Slipper, with a yellow beard on an otherwise nearly unspotted lip.  Nor does it grow west of the Cascades as does the Western Fairy Slipper.  I also found in the same location one plant still in bloom of Kostiuk's Hybrid Fairy Slipper, Calypso bulbosa x kostiukiae, a rare natural hybrid of the Eastern and Western Fairy Slippers.  It is also very distinctive, with a pale yellow beard, midway between the bright yellow and white of the two varieties and a finely spotted lip.  With these two Fairy Slippers there were also several stems of the Early Coralroot, Corallorhiza trifida.

Eastern Fairy Slipper
Calypso bulbosa var. americana

Eastern Fairy Slipper (pink form)
Calypso bulbosa var. americana fma. rosea

Kostiuk's Hybrid Fairy Slipper
Calypso bulbosa x kostiukiae

Early Coralroot
Corallorhiza trifida

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mountain Lady's Slippers in Blewett Pass

On Friday May 21, knowing that everything was blooming early, I toured some orchid sites in eastern Washington and found that things were early indeed.  The Mountain Lady's Slippers, Cypripedium montanum, were well started with their blooming.  I visited two locations and found many of them in bloom at both locations, mostly the form which has purple-red markings around the opening of the lip and darker marking inside the lip, fma. welchii.  I also found the green and white form, forma praetertincum, but it was only just starting to open.  At the first location the sun had not yet come up but at the second location the sun rose while I was taking pictures, thus the difference in lighting.

Cypripedium montanum

Cypripedium montanum fma. welchii

Cyprripedium montanum fma. praetertinctum