Tag Wildflowers

The Fairy Slipper


These beautiful flowers are called Fairy Slippers. They are a native Montana orchid my mom pointed out on a beautiful birthday hike two Sundays ago. Montana has, get ready, thirty native orchid species. This list of all of them has some beautiful photos.

Many people are surprised to learn that orchids grow in Montana. They associate the plants with faraway, exotic places. While it’s true that most orchids live in the moist, hot tropics, they also show up in many other environments. They inhabit every continent except Antarctica and are found in nearly every type of terrain except true desert.

Orchid season in Montana begins in late April, when the first pinkish purple blooms of fairy slippers emerge in moist woodlands and mountain foothills. It ends when the spiraling flowers of ladies’ tresses begin to wither, usually in August.

-From a good essay on wild Montana orchids.