Photo of the Month
Last month I showcased a showy orchid, that was one of 32 native orchid species found in Iowa. This month I decided to share another unique orchid that can be found in Northeast Iowa, the Showy Lady Slipper (Cypripedium reginae). The name reginae is Latin meaning "queen", and once you see it out in nature, it is easy to understand why. It is a rare, yet locally abundant plant of swamps, bogs, and wet woods throughout the northeastern quarter of the United States, as well as adjoining areas of Canada. These white and pink orchids grow slowly, taking over 16 years to produce the first flower. Blooming in late June or early July, the plants may live on average about 50 years and can grow over four feet tall. The orchids became the state flower of Minnesota in 1902 and was protected by state law in 1925.