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Botanical Art Worldwide: America's Flora

Showy Lady's Slipper

Cypripedium reginae

Living in Minnesota, I feel fortunate (and sometimes overwhelmed) by the wealth of resources for painting offered by our four biomes: prairie parkland, tallgrass aspen parklands, Eastern broadleaf forest, and Laurentian mixed forest. But selecting my favorite subject to represent our native plant was easy - Minnesota’s State Flower.

My painting for the Botanical Art Worldwide exhibit is the Showy Lady’s Slipper, Cypripedium reginae. It is a protected wildflower and always considered a “prize” to locate. It is reliably found near my home in the wet meadows of the 100-year old Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, and if conditions are good, you could be lucky to find them lining the roadside ditches near Itasca State Park on the road to Lake Alice bog. Traveling this road, near the headwaters of the Mississippi River, is one of many locations that my husband and I visit during the spring and early summer months, looking for migrant birds. We were blessed one recent July with the sight of hundreds of brilliant pink blossoms catching the sunlight low on the moist ground - distracting us from our tree-top searching - a very happy distraction.

Sadly, although all orchids species are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Cypripedium reginae is under numerous threats, especially from individuals who collect plants for research, personal garden use, and illegal sale. But also by loss of habitat due to drainage of wetland areas, pollution of water sources, contamination of groundwater from drilling operations, and habitat disruption due to logging impact. In addition to the human interferences, environmental risks include drought, climate change, and wildfires.

I am proud to be part of this exhibit to help raise public awareness and appreciation of native plant species around the world, and share the Showy Lady’s Slipper’s gift of beauty.


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Worldwide-Powers - Showy Ladys Slipper

Cypripedium reginae

Showy Lady's Slipper

Watercolor on vellum

13.5 x 10.5

©2017 Linda Powers

2024 ASBA - All rights reserved

All artwork copyrighted by the artist. Copying, saving, reposting, or republishing of artwork prohibited without express permission of the artist.

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