Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Big Hook Orchids

Big Hook’s Orchids of the North

Every year fisherman at Big Hook miss out on the flora and fauna wonders of the Opasquia Provincial Park and the boreal forest. The Park is home to the Pink Moccasin Flower (Cypripedium Acaule), sometimes called Stemless Lady Slipper. This member of the orchid family is losing habitat all over North America. While not on any endangered list, it is nice to see them thriving around Big Hook and throughout the Opasquia.

Pink Moccasins are found in a variety of shaded, acidic habitats, both wet and dry, in boreal and temperate regions These orchids need very definite environmental conditions, rarely surviving transplanting to gardens. Root system extends approximately a meter in opposite directions from the plant, and cannot withstand severance in order to transplant. Germination from seed to flowering plant requires 10-16 years. They are pollinated by bumble bee (Bombus) queens.

So the next time the group is making the trip across a portage, stop and take a look at the plant life around you. You are so lucky to be standing in a wilderness that is virtually untouched.
Steve Hartle
Big Hook Wilderness Camps