Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yellow Lady's Slipper Seed Pod

There’s been an interesting development with the lone Yellow Lady’s Slipper. The plant remains vigorous and the seed pod, which normally yellows by this stage in development, has remained green and is expanding in size. Perhaps this is the year it will produce seed.

If this is a sign of seed development, I’m still wondering where they pollen came from. Since I’ve never seen the plant even look like it was producing seeds, I figured that it was not self fertile and needed pollen from another plant. It’s certainly exciting to imagine little seeds forming within that pod. Maybe the whole hillside will be blooming with Yellow Lady’s Slippers in a few years.

I found several young assassin bugs patrolling the plant. They apparently had recently shed their exoskeletons. That’s an old skin hanging below the dried flower. Maybe they will protect the pod from hungry small scale herbivores.

Several more of the little guys were patrolling the leaves. More than enough to keep the orchid free of marauders. Of course, the thought flashed through my mind that I hoped there were enough insects on the orchid to feed all of those assassin bugs. I’ll keep checking the plant to see how it develops. I’m going to be really disappointed if I go out one day and find nothing left but a stem. It’s happened before.


  1. Wow Steve maybe I should go check on my yellow Lady Slipper to see what is happening with it!! Is there anything I could do with mine if it has a seed pod!!! There is two plants side by side don't they grow from a bulb type system?? Hope you have success with your's!!! It would be nice if you had a pair of slippers!! Hahahaha!!! :}

  2. grammie g - Sometimes the plant will send up more than one stalk. Mine sometimes sends up two. If mine does produce seeds, I'm going to scatter them around in likely looking places and hope for the best. The seeds are tiny, so there should be a lot of seed to spread around.

  3. I'm already looking forward to next year to hear about ALL the yellow lady's slippers you have growing on your property! Good luck. ~karen