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


  1. My husband found a beautiful coral root in our wooded yard today, we are near Glacier National Park in NW Montana. It has more yellow than the pictures I am finding, white with purple spots. Great pictures, glad I found your blog. We also have a group of fairy slippers I love watching for. Jamie

    1. Montana's orchids are very much the same as ours though you have a few species we don't have and vice versa. You might check my photos of Corallorhiza mertensiana, the Western Coralroot - yours sounds like that. Otherwise, if you want to send some photos, send them at ronaldhhanko @ outlook.com.