On a special edition of Wildflower Wednesday, we'll explore the wildflowers of a bog! Bogs are a type of wetland that are high in acidity and low in nutrients. Despite these conditions, bogs in Vermont are booming with color as the various heaths, shrubs, and orchids begin to flower.
In "Bog's of the Northeast", Charles Johnson describes the pollination strategy of the Pink Lady's Slipper (right) like this:
"A bee - the usual pollinator - enters through a slit in the top of the pouch, perhaps associating the fragrance with nectar which the hairs do not have. Once it finds itself deceived, it turns to leave, but the only visible exit is not by the entry slit but at the top. Departing, it must crawl past the column. In doing so it rubs against the pollinium, which sticks to the bee. After the bee has been deceived by a second flower and is leaving it, the pollinium strikes the stigma, where it becomes stuck even more firmly by a special stigmatic glue, thus completing the bee's role in the cross-pollination."