C. calceolus varieties in Western Canada?

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Abgeschickt von Ray Jennings am 12 Juni, 2003 um 22:06:42

I was out hiking and the yellow lady slippers are just flowering along the Kicking Horse River here in British Columbia. I suppose in a ten km stretch there must be quite a few million Cypripediums but, except for the odd one with multiple flowers, they are all more or less the same. Around here in Revelstoke (150 km to the West), the yellow slippers are about 2/3rds the size of those on the Kicking Horse and a paler yellow. When one goes up North in the province the slippers are ever brighter and bigger than those along the Kicking Horse. Another big difference are the 'clumps'...plants can be more or less on there own with a couple of offshoots or they can be in tight bundles of 10 to 20 plants. What all this says to me is that there seems to be at least 2 or 3 different species that are a lot more different from eachother than just varieties.

My question is this: have there been an extensive study of yellow ladyslippers in Western Canada? Just in British Columbia, no more than a thousand km apart the yellow lady slippers are quite distinct from each other in appearance and in growth habit.

Also, I've noticed that a couple of wildflower books published in the last year have gone back to calling these slippers 'C. calceolus'...could someone please advise what the original paper was that described 'C. parviflorum'. Was this a population East or West of the Rocky Mountains? It's strange that populations found in such diverse ecologies as the dry aspen forest edges of Alberta and the wet fens of British Columbia would be the same species. They don't look the same and are in very different environments.

British Columbia, Canada


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