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Pollination of Lady's Slippers

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  • Joe Metzger
    Group, Does anyone know what pollinates the Lady s Slipper (Cypripedium sp.), especially Large Yellow Lady s Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus var. pubescens) and
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 11, 2013
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      Group,
       
                Does anyone know what pollinates the Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium sp.), especially Large Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus var. pubescens) and White Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium candidum), and what the maximum distance for pollination would be? I would suspect Bumble Bees which pollinate the Pink Lady's Slipper (C. acaule).

                There is a population of Yellow Lady's Slippers in Shenandoah National Park and there are two distinct forms. I suspect that the smaller form is actually a hybrid (C. × favillianum) with the rare White Lady's Slipper. Currently the White Lady's Slipper is known from only one location in southwest VA (although other locations are known in other states).
       
                                                                                                Joe Metzger
    • Sheryl Pollock
      I searched and Illinois Wildflower Society cites that it has been observed to be pollinated by Andrenoid Bees.
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 12, 2013
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        I searched and Illinois Wildflower Society cites that it has been observed to be pollinated by Andrenoid Bees.
      • Dana Visalli
        I poked around for information on Cypripediums and found this study: Enhancing the trap of lady’s slippers: a new technique for discovering pollinators
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 12, 2013
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          I poked around for information on Cypripediums and found this study:
          'Enhancing the trap of lady’s slippers: a new technique for discovering
          pollinators yields new data from Cypripedium parviflorum' by Case &
          Bradford. The Cypripediums are 'trap pollinators' with the only way out
          through a trap door in the back.

          The researchers cleverly closed the back door with a paper clip so they
          could ascertain who the pollinators are. Here's what they mention in the
          abstract: 'Ten species of hymenopteran visitors in the families
          Andrenidae, Apidae, Halictidae and Megachilidae were observed, with two
          female Andrena tridens and one male Adrena perplexa successfully removing
          pollen.' Andrenas seemed to be the star performers. Honeybees need not
          apply.

          I think we'll try this locally this summer; we have a lot of Cyprepedium
          montanum.

          Dana




          > I searched and Illinois Wildflower Society cites that it has been
          observed to be pollinated by Andrenoid Bees.
          > http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/yl_ladyslipper.htm
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