Hardly an early springtime should have passed without our having been reminded of a royal member of the wildflower parade. The Yellow Lady's Slipper, a native orchid, dwells in organic soils of wooded slopes and in an occasional boggy area.
In my experience over several decades a few ideal habitats come to mind: the old Country Club woods within the city limits of Danville, the lower reaches of Wolf Island Creek in Caswell County, a small white oak forest near the old Dan River High School, and a couple of sites in foothills south of Smith Mountain in Pittsylvania County.
Although not as easily found nowadays, it is likely that in April past a yellow slipper may have been lurking in some nearby woods as it stood tall, adorning the forest slope with its excellence.
(See also a larger image, and an orchid index.)
Copyright © 2001–2002 William T. Hathaway.