The lady's slipper plant belongs to the orchid family. Grows in temperate forests. By its structure, the flower is similar to a small shoe. Thanks to this association, the plant got the name "slipper". And the word "Venus" refers to an ancient legend.
Orchids are some of the most beautiful flowers on Earth. Fantastic coloring, exquisite shape - that is what distinguishes them. But orchids grow in the tropics. They can be found in greenhouses, and some species as houseplants.
However, it turns out that there is also a northern orchid, or rather a plant of the orchid family. The name of this flower is the lady's slipper. This miracle grows in the forests of the temperate zone: in Europe, Siberia, the Far East, as well as in Canada and the north of the United States.
The lady's slipper is grown on their plots by amateur gardeners. This flower attracts with its beauty, but requires skillful care.
What does a northern orchid look like?
In botany, about 50 species of Venus shoes are described. These flowers are widespread from the forest-tundra to the tropics. These are the oldest orchids. They differ in color of flowers, in which they are not inferior to real orchids.
In Russia, there are five types of Venus slippers, among them a real lady's slipper, striking in the beauty of its color: the yellow lip of a flower, similar to the light of a flashlight, is framed by narrow purple petals. The flower is quite large, about 5 cm in diameter.
The lady's slipper is a perennial herb. During the first three years, the rhizome develops in the ground. Then a sprout appears on the surface. On the stem, first one develops, and in subsequent years several large oblong leaves. The plant blooms only in the 15th year of life.
The lady's slipper is listed in the Red Book. But, despite the protection, its number continues to decline. There are many reasons: from general ecology to a person's desire to have such a flower in a bouquet or in his garden.
The lady's shoe blooms for two weeks. This happens in May or June, depending on the weather conditions.
Features of the name of the plant
The structure of the flower resembles a woman's shoe. That is why in different regions it was called approximately the same. Ladies' shoes, moccasins, cuckoo's boots, Mary's slipper - these are some of the many names.
The name "lady's slipper" refers to an ancient legend. Venus is the ancient Roman goddess of love and beauty, the patroness of blooming gardens. Once Venus had to run away from a persistent pursuer. Her path lay through wilds and swamps. No wonder that Venus caught on a twig, the satin ribbons of her shoes were untied, and the shoe itself slipped off her feet.
But everything divine does not just disappear. The shoe turned into a beautiful flower, which to this day prefers secluded shady places with well-moisturized soil.
In shape, the flower really resembles a ballroom shoe of past centuries.