Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Sales of horseherb seeds in Arlington, TX area
October 27, 2009 - Where can I purchase horseherb seeds in Arlington tx.or Dallas Ft.Worth area
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Texas bluebells from seed
July 29, 2008 - I have a few Texas Bluebell seeds. I would like to grow these in my yard. What would be the best place..pot or flower bed? When should I plant? How to maintain?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of possumhaw from Austin
May 22, 2014 - I planted a possumhaw holly plant about 3 months ago and am really excited to watch it grow from its current 3-foot height. It is starting to berry right now. My question is about those berries: (Cle...
view the full question and answer

Propagation bluebells by gathering seed
July 10, 2008 - Following up your suggestion on propagating Bluebells by seed..Is it possible that I can gather seed from the bluebells in my pasture? How does that work? Would I have to wait until the wildflowers a...
view the full question and answer

Redbud tree propagated from root sprouts in Greenwood IN
June 20, 2009 - Our Red Bud tree broke down to ground level and before we dug up the root several new sprouts have started growing out of it and all around the perimeter(they are approx. 4" high). My question is, c...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.