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Lady’s slipper orchid – Cypripedium calceolus L.
This species, considered by many to be the most beautiful European orchid (Orchidaceae), is one of the rarest plant species in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It got its Latin name on account of its flower, which looks like a slipper: Cypripedium translates literally as Venus's footwear, and the species name calceolus is the Latin word for little shoe. The flowers look exotic: the perianth is purple-brown in colour and it surrounds a large, puffed-up lemon-coloured labellum. Another peculiarity of this species is that it has two stamens, while other orchids have only one. It hasa pleasant scent, reminiscent of apricot. It flowers in May and June, in higher altitudes also in July.
The fact that it is among the slowest-growing plant species in the world – it takes anywhere between six and eleven years to develop its first flowers and seeds – contributes to its status as an endangered species. It is registered as a very endangered taxon. Its presence has been noted on Mt Klekovača, around Sarajevo (Bukovik, Paljanska Miljacka,) and in the canyon of the Rakitnica River.