Native Lady Slipper Orchid and Trillium Hoop Earrings
I am not sure if you know this, but if you happen upon native lady slipper orchids, you have crossed paths with magical little beings. It is rare to see them in the wild so it is a special treat when you do! Their shapes and colors are such a striking sight against the darker forest backgrounds of where they grow.
We know of their beauty, but they hold lots of secrets. There are so many things that most people do not know about lady slipper orchids. Most believe that they are illegal to dig up and transplant, but that is not the truth. Nobody really talks about how they are not a protected plant species because they are sure it stops some from trying to bring this plant home. The thing with most orchids is that they need microscopic fungi to not only germinate, but to grow until flowering. Lady slipper orchid seeds are so tiny you almost cannot see them. They are this small because the seed doesn't contain any food for the plant as it germinates and grows. This is very unusual! Because it doesn't contain any food, the orchids rely on specialized fungi to attach to the seeds, break them open, and then to feed them until they flower. We don't yet know what this fungi is, where it comes from, or how to cultivate it. That is why you almost never see pink lady slipper orchids for sale. Growers can't get them to germinate even in the most knowledgeable of hands. Therefore, when you meet a lady slipper orchid in the wild, it found those conditions beneath its feet to be absolutely perfect to call home. It found the correct balance of sunlight and shade, the exact amount of moisture, and it found its tiny microscopic fungi friends that will feed it until the day it flowers and can then feed the fungi in return. A symbiotic relationship that we know almost nothing about. Isn't that magical?
There are 39 native species of trilliums across the United States. Even though it grows best as a shaded understory plant, it will stay dormant until it receives enough warmth in the early spring sunlight. Sometimes called toadshade, because of the toad sized umbrella leaves, it is one of spring's earliest wildflowers to bloom. Isn't that an adorable name?? Trilliums produce fruits with seeds inside. Mice and ants take these fruits and use them as a food source while spreading the trilliums seeds within the fruit all about. That is how they spread within the forest. They do not produce nectar, only pollen, and normally smell awful. This terrible smell is on purpose so that they attract their specific pollinators, beetles and flies. They know what they are doing!
Each of these ephemeral botanical earrings was carved and made from scratch. Both the trillium and the lady slipper orchid are growing among the hand carved fungi to allow them growth. Each earring is about 3 inches long from where the sterling silver ear wire enters your ear. They were given teardrop shaped light green vesuvianite stones to represent the intense springtime green.
These one of a kind earrings will be packaged up sweetly and mailed off to you within 3-5 business days.