Ron Hanko

Ron Hanko

Posted on 04/23/2012

Photo taken on April 22, 2012

See also...

Wild Orchids Wild Orchids


western fairy slipper

Authorizations, license

Visible by: Everyone
All rights reserved

160 visits

Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis

Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis
Last week Friday (April 20th) my wife and I took the afternoon and evening and went to Washington Park to see if the Fairy Slippers were blooming. Washington Park is a city park of over 200 acres on a rocky peninsula on Fidalgo Island near the town of Anacortes, and is one of our favorite places for wildflowers. We actually went to see not only the Fairy Slippers (Calypso bulbosa), but the Oregon Fawn Lilies (Erythronium oregonum) and the Few-flowered Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon pulchellum), as well as many other beautiful native wildflowers. Though heavily used the park is a wonderful place for wildflowers.

We expected to find all of these just starting to bloom after a long and cold spring, but things were much farther on than we expected. The Fawn Lilies were nearly finished and the Fairy Slippers and Shooting Stars were at their peak. The Fairy Slippers seemed especially abundant and the Shooting Stars were blooming by the thousands at the seaside on the north end of the park at Green Point. However, we were back briefly today (Monday, April 23rd) and were dismayed to find that someone had picked all the Fairy Slippers they could find on the northwest side of the park where they are most abundant.

This is one of the Fairy Slippers and is the Western variety (var. occidentalis), the only variety to be found in our area. The more wide-spread and abundant Eastern variety (var. americana) has a yellow beard and lacks the brown markings on the front of the lip. I can never make up my mind which I like better, but do know that spring would not be the same here in the Pacific Northwest without these delicate and beautiful flowers. Every spring we make several excursions for the purpose of seeing them again, and in fact have another excursion planned for the near future with the Washington Native Orchid Society to see them in another location.

Ceropegia, Klaus Ehrenheim, Nora Caracci VERY BUSY have particularly liked this photo

Nora Caracci VERY BUSY
Nora Caracci VERY BU…
enchanting orchid, enchanting shot !
4 years ago.
Klaus Ehrenheim
Klaus Ehrenheim
Das Foto gefällt mir sehr = GREAT!
4 years ago.
Very lovely orchid, beautifully shot!
3 years ago.