Whilst in the Pyrenees last week, Sue demanded that I discover where to find some Lady’s Slipper Orchids. “Pierre was born and bred in the area, so he should know”, she suggested.
A message to Pierre found him ‘drinking a coffee in front of Big Ben’, from where he reported:
“Concerning your orchid, (the French name is "Sabot de Venus", the wooden shoe of Venus...) I know there are some places in Pyrenees where they are found, but I have not seen any of them.”
But he did know that when he got back home he could find a marvellous area of orchids in the Aravis, in Manigod, where they flower in May.
So, on return from the excitement of London, Pierre and Yolaine went up to Manigod on Sunday and took the pictures featured in this posting. These show that the ‘Sabot de Venus’ is alive and well, even on 1 June. The lower picture usefully shows the size of the plant, which grows in woods and grassy clearings and slopes, usually on calcareous soils up to 2000 metres. They can be found as late as July, when I once found them in the Dolomites.
Thanks go to Pierre and Yolaine for providing these lovely photos and brightening a damp day in Timperley.