Cypripedium calceolus is a species of lady’s slipper orchid that grows in temperate climate. It is a protected species in Romania.
Orchids have evolved by developing very interesting mechanisms for trapping and guiding insects. The shield visible at the base of the flower is a staminode (a modified sterile stamen) with the role of attracting insects. With a slippery surface, it causes the insect to slip into this lower petal transformed into a pouch, called labellum. The pouch also has a slippery surface, with the exception of the interior wall that presents guides and hairs that helps the insect to find its way out. And that way is leading to the stamina and the two anthers hidden behind the staminode.
In today’s tutorial I’m sketching the flower of Cypripedium with ink and watercolor.
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