As a child I was always told that it was illegal to pick a Lady Slipper Flower. I’m from PEI and it’s been the provinces flower since 1965….so I always believed it to be true. Later, I passed this knowledge on to my children as they loved to pick flowers as little girls. Never giving it another thought.
Until Today; while out hiking on this lovely day in June, I noticed quite a few Lady Slipper flowers along the trail. I stopped and took a few photos before continuing on my way. But later that evening as I went through my photos, I came across the Lady Slippers again and wondered….Is it really illegal to pick Lady Slippers?
I decided to find out.
With the help of the internet and some digging, this is what I’ve learned minus all the scientific boring stuff.
Is it illegal to pick Lady slippers in Atlantic Canada???
NO and YES ??
I presently live in Nova Scotia and there are four types of Lady Slippers here, all requiring specific environments to grow.
First a little background:
Lady Slippers grow to 15-30 cm tall.
Lady Slippers Bloom in May/ June.
The Rams Head Lady Slipper Blooms the earliest in May.
Pink Lady Slippers(sometimes white) are most common, growing all over the province. They prefer a wet, moist wooded area….or dry with acid in the soil.
Yellow, Rams Head, and Showy Lady Slippers are more specific in their needs (Gypsum) and grow in fewer places, therefore Rarer.
The Yellow Lady Slipper can sometimes cause a Poison Ivy type reaction when touched.
Lady Slippers rely on symbiosis and take Many years to develop.
Lady Slippers won’t grow back if you pick them.
Lady Slippers only have a 5% transplant survival rate.
Lady Slippers have survived and even flourished due to the Myth that it’s illegal to pick them.
Lady Slippers are pretty great and I think we all should just keep leaving them alone.
So technically it’s not Illegal to pick them, But should we?
Also Keep in Mind:
The Rams Head Lady Slipper (Endangered 2007)
The Yellow and Showy Lady Slippers are on The N.S. Threatened Plant List
I am not a Lady Slipper Expert, I am a Google Search Expert!!