When the insect enters another lady's-slipper, tiny barbs scrape off the pollen and the plant is cross-pollinated.
However tantalizing the lady's-slipper flower, there is no reward of nectar for the bewildered insect that performed the delivery service.
In New York State, it is found in two forms that most botanists think are varieties of the same species: the large yellow lady's-slipper and the northern small yellow lady's-slipper.
The lip of both varieties is canary yellow, but the twisted petals of the small lady's-slipper are an elegant mahogany color.
The large yellow lady's-slipper is far more numerous than it's little cousin.
This is the most common lady's-slipper in New York State and is also called moccasin flower, or the stemless lady's-slipper.
Lady's-slippers -- those lovely wild orchids native to New York State -- are remarkably resilient and well adapted to their specialized natural environment.
At Cornell University in Ithaca, botanical researchers are experimenting with repatriating laboratory-raised lady's-slippers in the wild.
In the wild, lady's-slippers are finicky plants that germinate only under optimum conditions.
Chin-Chang Chu, a Taiwanese horticulture graduate student at Cornell, failed in his attempt to sprout pink and yellow lady's-slippers through inoculation.
When spring came, wild lady's-slippers burst into bloom, but nothing from the mini-plantation.