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Lady's Slipper (42)
Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Lady‘s Slipper Orchid, Cypripedium calceolus
Swedish name: Guckusko, meaning ‘cuckoo shoe’

This was taken in the wild: it is not cultivated!

This large and impressive orchid is protected in most of Europe. It is found in a few places on the limestone island of Öland and it needs limey humus-rich soils in shady areas.

Information on the locality is not spread in order to mimimise plundring, which is illegal. Some dig them up to sell/plant them for the garden, but as it is partially dependent on a fungus in the soil, it needs a special method of cultivation.

The WORKSHOP shows the group of these orchids temporarily lit up by the morning sun and this is one of them.

It is a little more common in the North of Sweden, but still rare.

The yellow colour of the 'shoe' attracts insects that get trapped for enough time for them to get covered by pollen and thereby fertilize the next flower.

This was taken with the camera hand-held. After slight cropping and adjustment for levels it was slightly sharpened, reduced in size and converted from RAW.

Altered Image #1

Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Edited by:Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)

These thrive in the shade but when the sun reaches them for a short time the contrast can be hard to manage.