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Re: Fw: [beemonitoring] Pollination of Lady's Slippers

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  • Peter Bernhardt
    Dear Joe: The Bernhardt/Meier lab at St. Louis University specializes in the study of the pollination of *Cypripedium s*pp. This includes North American and
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 14, 2013
    Dear Joe:

    The Bernhardt/Meier lab at St. Louis University specializes in the study of the pollination of Cypripedium spp.   This includes North American and Chinese species.  Please consider reading the attached.  Our paper on pollination of C. montanum is almost ready to go out for review.  This spring we hope to conclude a three year study on the pollination of both large and small varieties of Cypripedium parviflorum.  Here in Missouri, C. parviflorum appears to be pollinated by a wide variety of small-bodied, female bees in the Halictidae and Andrenidae.  

    Unfortunately, our big review paper (attached) missed the Canadian paper on the pollination of C. candidum.  The reference you want is...

    Catling, P. & Knerer, G. 1980.  In the 1980 issue of the Canadian Field Naturalist 94: 435-438.

    Based on this paper, C. candid is pollinated by pretty much the same bees that pollinate C. parviflorum so hybrids are expected where the two species overlap and share overlapping flowering periods.

    Dr Meier and I are completing the editing for a multi-authored book (U. of Chicago Press) celebrating the 150th anniversary of Darwin's first book on orchid pollination (1862).  It will have a a new chapter reviewing pollination of orchids in the sub-family Cypripedioideae and that will include Cypripedium with Paphiopedilum, Selenipedium etc.  

    Peter Bernhardt      
    On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 5:50 AM, Stuart Roberts <eucera@...> wrote:

    Message from Nico Vereecken (who is a bit of a black belt when it comes to Orchid pollination). His message is below


    As far as is known, the main pollinators are mining bees, halictids and occasionnally Apis mellifera. The larger bees are not "mechanically" capable of escaping via the "right" exit, i.e. the one that attaches the pollen masses onto the bee's body.


    From: Joe Metzger <jmetzger50@...>
    Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2013 01:26:24 -0500
    Subject: [beemonitoring] Pollination of Lady's Slippers


              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

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