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ORCHIDS

Orchids are rare and highly sensitive to environmental disturbances. Some orchids may take over a decade to produce a flower. Orchids require our protection.

PLEASE DO NOT PICK OR DIG UP THE ORCHIDS.

Look in this area for a variety of orchids including the rose pogonia (Pogonia ophioglossoides) and the grass pink (Calopogon tuberosus). The grass pink is one of a few orchids with upward facing flowers. It springs from sphagnum moss and is easily recognized by the fuchsia bearded-tip petal and solitary grass-like leaf.

There are several varieties of the lady’s slipper orchid (Cypripedia) that may be found along the boardwalk: the yellow (Calceolus), the showy (Reginae), and the pink (Acaule). Some of the lady’s slipper orchids that you can see in this area may live for 50 years.

Lady’s slipper orchids have a unique way of transferring their pollen from one flower to another. A bee is drawn to the flower’s scent and flies into the slipper to collect nectar. Once inside, it is unable to back out so must exit through the rear of the flower. As it brushes past the stamen, its furry back is coated with pollen which, in turn, is deposited on the stigma in the next flower it visits.

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