Lady Slipper Orchid - Ocoee River Wildflower

Lady Slipper Orchid – Ocoee River Wildflower Spotlight

The lady slipper orchid is one the most beautiful wildflowers found in the Cherokee National Forest. It blooms May thur early July and is dotted through out the Ocoee River George.

Growing 8 to 12 inches tall this orchid is easily identified by its unique appearance. Its petals are shaped like a bulging pouch that resembles a lady’s slipper.  The blooms can last up to six weeks and are a blush pink color.

These rare plants require acidic soil so the best place to see them is near stands of pines trees. This makes the hiking trails around the Ocoee White Water Center a great place to look for them. There are trail options for both beginners and experienced hikers. Trail guides can be found  inside the Ocoee White Water Center.

Lady slippers are slow growers and can take up to seven years to fully mature.  They also require a special fungus for proper development and nutrition so if you see one of these beautiful ladies take only pictures and help us spread the word about this amazing wildflower.

Jennifer and Grant Outlaw are co-owners of Carolina Outfitters and Carolina Ocoee.  They’ve been paddling whitewater in the Ducktown, TN and Bryson City, NC rivers for years and know how to help you have a great experience.

 

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