En Espa—ol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Sunday - May 24, 2009

From: Machias, ME
Region: Northeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: Pink lady slipper orchids in Maine
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, I have moved to Maine from Virginia--it's a new world of plants!!Exciting!! I have found 2 pink lady slippers on our property. What can I do to encourage them to multiply? I know some wild flower don't like to be fertilized. Thanks for your help

ANSWER:

There were 8 members of the genus Cypripedium in our Native Plant Database, 3 that are native to Maine, but only one, Cypripedium reginae (showy lady's slipper), that seemed to have the color to be called a pink lady's slipper. However, we found information on a plant, Cypripedium acaule, (website from the Orchid Board) that looks more like what you are talking about. Just because it is not in our Native Plant Database doesn't mean it's not native, we believe it is. It just means we don't have very many orchids in our database.The gist of the information we found advised leaving the orchid alone, that it could rarely be transplanted, and tended to die in gardens. It would appear it only flourishes in a specific habitat. Be happy you have it and don't advertise; most of the wild orchids are endangered because of over-picking and attempts to move them from their habitat to sell them.  Cypripedium acaule USDA Plant Profile of Maine shows it growing all over the state.

More pictures of Cypripedium acaule

Other lady's slippers native to Maine: from our Native Plant Database

Cypripedium arietinum (ram's head lady's slipper)

Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens (greater yellow lady's slipper)

Cypripedium reginae (showy lady's slipper)


Cypripedium arietinum

Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens

Cypripedium reginae

 

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Breaking dormancy of native seeds
November 22, 2006 - The science of seed preservation seems to be well advanced. However, Jill Nokes' book appears to be the only well-known information about breaking dormancy of native seeds. I'm grateful that she w...
view the full question and answer

At what age does Possumhaw (Ilex decidua) begin to flower in Pflugerville, TX?
January 13, 2011 - At what age does a female possumhaw (Ilex decidua) usually bloom and set fruit? Or is there a way to identify the female other than by the presence of berries? I grew a number from seed and want to ...
view the full question and answer


July 27, 2015 - Hi, thanks for all your help in the past! I have a generous spot in my spacious back yard that is begging to be filled. The top soil is 4" sandy loam, below which is black clay.With frog strangler r...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Chandler's craglily from San Marcos TX
December 16, 2012 - Can you please advise me on collecting and propagating seed from Chandlerís craglily -Echeandia chandleri. I have 2 plants that came from the wildflower center. They never seem to multiply, but they d...
view the full question and answer

Growing mosses in the Pacific Northwest
February 05, 2015 - Can you provide information on types of Mosses as well as Microferns in the Northwest Mountain region near Seattle? I assume that Mosses and Microferns are more resilient to foot traffic (i.e.Cush...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center