Thursday, January 17, 2013

Showy Lady Slipper

I have been meaning to do this drawing for awhile and actually started it in July right after these orchids flowered in June in a fen in Northeast Ohio. While I worked in Ohio I was responsible for monitoring this population of showy lady slippers (Cypripedium reginae) on an annual basis. Showy lady slipper flowers are about the size of a chicken egg making them one of the largest of the native orchids - it is also covered with hairs that can cause poison ivy-like dermatitis on some people. I never had an issue with orchid hairs but I have with the poison sumac (Rhus vernix) that shares the same habitat. Besides the poison sumac the fen was always a very enjoyable place to spend the day counting orchids and botanizing. Also in this illustration are two sedge species Carex leptalea (3 flowering culms) and Carex interior (1 flowering stem) that are commonly found with the orchids.

This is 16"X20" and done with Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils - I had to scan it in four pieces and splice them together resulting in some inconsistencies in color.


  1. Oh, SO beautiful, Nate. I found them blooming in the Adirondacks once, just so lovely...

  2. This is lovely!! Lady slippers are some of my favourite wild flowers.

  3. Well done Nate! I love the ground at the base of the plant.


We'd love to hear from you, your questions, comments, observations! Please feel free to comment, feedback is important to us.