Lady Slippers

There were certain girls in high school so beautiful that they could get any of us insecure young boys to carry their books, even though we knew that we were just being used; that’s what the Lady Slipper orchid reminds me of.

They are also very beautiful, especially the Pink Lady Slipper, Minnesota’s State Flower. They lure unsuspecting bees into their pink little pods through a one-way opening. Once inside, the bees find out there is no nectar for them, the usual payment for their help in pollination, and are, in fact, trapped inside.

Upon wrestling around to make their way to a small hole in the back, they shed any pollen they might have brought in on the plant’s female reproductive parts, and when they squeeze through the small opening in the back to escape, little packets of pollen from the male reproductive parts stick to their backs.

So they end up carrying the load without getting any nectar. Sounds familiar, all right.

–Photo by me