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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Slippers and streams

Okay, back to The Cedars.  I don't have much time tonight, but here are two wildflowers that I think you'll enjoy.

California Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium californicum).  The Cedars is one of the southern-most sites for this wonderful orchid associated with habitats like seeps, moist slopes, streambanks, bogs, and fens.

For my relatives and friends in New England this species is similar to a Pink Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium acaule), but the showy part of the flower (i.e., the white lower lip) is much smaller.  In the California Lady's Slipper, the lip ranges from ~15-20 mm (~3/4 inch) long...while in the Pink Lady's Slipper it ranges from ~30-67 mm (~1-2.5 inches) long.

And here's another wildflower highlight:

Purple-leaf Stream Orchids (Epipactis gigantea f. rubrifolia) were just starting to flower.  Although this species of orchid occurs elsewhere in the state, The Cedars is apparently the only place where the purple-leaved variety grows.

This next picture makes me wish I was Alice in Wonderland so I could become very small and then crawl right in to start exploring!

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