The Sessile-Leaved Twisted-Stalk (Streptopus roseus) is part of the Lily of the Valley family. It has dull purplish pink flowers that tend to just be half an inch long or less. It grows from one to two and a half feet tall, and features thin leaves with many nerves in each. The leaves taper off at the ends and are rounded at the base. This plant also has a round, red berry which carries many seeds.
This wild flower prefers to live in moist, woody areas and produces flowers from May to June. It does well in the east and many areas of North America, particularly favoring Georgia and Oregon.
This is a graceful looking plant that at first glance has no flowers on it. If you bend back the zig zagged stem though, you’ll find the little rosy bells swaying from the base of the leaves on curved footstalks, much like it’s relatives – the Solomon’s Seals. The berries are a nice showy red in August, and birds love them.
The Clasping-Leaved Twisted-Stalk (S. amplexifolius), which has one or two greenish-white bells nodding from its axils, may be distinguished when not in flower by its leaves, which are hoary -not green – on the under side, or by its oval berry. Indeed most plants living in wet soil have a coating of down on the under sides of their leaves to prevent the pores from clogging with rising vapors.
Moccasin Flowers are also known as Pink, Venus’, or Stemless Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule). These wild flowers are part of the Orchid family, and sport fragrant large showy flowers up to two inches long. They have a pale magenta color, veined with a darker pink in the upper part inside. The leaves are thick and can be up to eight inches long. This wild flower likes deep, rocky or sandy woods so they’d probably go well in a shaded rock garden. They flower from May to June and do well in areas such as North Carolina, Minnesota and Kentucky.
The Lady’s Slipper is considered by many to be so exquisite they can’t resist picking it. Because of this, finding wild ones growing becomes harder as time goes by. You can sometimes find it growing wild deep in the woods though, where it almost seems to be hiding from human fingers.
Interesting tidbit: The Lady’s Slipper can sometimes trap large bumblebees. The entrance bees and flys use to get to the flowers nectar is a bit narrow – on purpose of course so the insects are forced to pick up pollen as they squeeze through. Sometimes a large bee will find its way inside, but not be able to get out again. Once in awhile the bee will actually bite its way out of the flower though, so if you see tiny little holes or damage on your Lady’s Slippers… this could be why!