The Elusive Pink Lady's Slipper
The Pink Lady's Slipper, a type of orchid, is listed as uncommon among Shenandoah's wildflowers. Although it is not as rare as its relative the Yellow Lady's Slipper, it does not bloom in abundance and is often hard to locate, even when one knows when and where to look. It blooms in May here and prefers the soil beneath pine trees. The plant can be up to 12 inches high and the flower 2-3 inches long. This specimen was on the larger end of the scale and was, surprisingly, growing right along the Buck Ridge Trail, where it is susceptible to being trampled or picked. Fortunately, Buck Hollow Trail is not one of the park's very popular ones.
Shenandoah National Park, VA-- May 2008