Rick Speer passed along your question about lady's-slippers to the Josselyn
Botanical Society list. Here's the scoop:
You're right, you SHOULDN'T pick or dig lady's-slippers. Like many orchids,
they take a long time to grow- generally more than a decade before they can
even flower- and have other predators (like deer) to contend with.
But like many other folks, you're mistaken about their legal status. In
Maine, they have none. They follow the general rule of law that the plants
on a person's land are considered his or her property.
The lady's-slippers you're describing are the common pink lady's-slipper,
Cypripedium acaule. They are found throughout the state and are not
particularly rare on a statewide basis-- even though you don't usually find
lots at one time.
While not what you were looking for, I hope this information is useful.
Susan C. Gawler
Gawler Conservation Services
Box 867B, Guptill Rd.
Belgrade, ME 04917
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