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RTPI – Meet Your Neighbours: Pink Lady Slipper

Unbeknownst to many, life as a Pink Lady Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium acaule) can be a rather challenging one. Starting life out as a little seed of this species can leave one quite hungry as their seeds do not possess enough food supplies to get them going like other seeds do. So what is a seed to do? To alleviate their food needs, they develop a mutual relationship with a soil fungus whose root threads break through the seed wall and deliver nutrients to the seed. Once the flower is grown, it provides food in return for the fungus, creating a symbiotic relationship. So after all that hard work to grow and provide, the flower will continue to bloom in its selected spot for up to 20 years! With that said, no picking please!


The ‘Meet Your Neighbours’ global biodiversity project is a worldwide photographic initiative dedicated to reconnecting people with the wildlife on their own doorsteps (wherever on the planet this doorstep happens to be) – and enriching their lives in the process. The animals and plants found in our immediate vicinity are vital to people: they represent the first, and for some, the only contact with wild nature we have.