June 30, 2020
SGIL TAWAATL’LYAAY FAIRY SLIPPER
Caplypso bulbosa Orchidacea
Found on the hlk’inxa forest floor, the SGil tawaatl’lyaay Fairy Slipper is a delicate orchid that grows in abundance throughout the rainforests of Haida Gwaii, and down the Pacific coast as far south as California.
Our local variety of Fairy Slipper is magenta-purple and white in colour. Nestled in moss, it grows singular flowers from a corn (bulb). The corns are buttery and rich in taste earning them the name skil taw black cod grease. It is said that Haida girls ate the globe-shaped corms raw in the hopes that this would increase their bust size.
Fairy Slippers are designated as being of importance to the Haida as ‘medicinal plants’ and are therefore protected by law on Xaayda Gwaay.yaay Haida Gwaii. These precious colonies of wild orchids are easily disturbed, and habitat destruction remain a significant threat to the diminutive flower. Please be sure to watch your step and stay on the trail while exploring our Island home.
Discover the flora and fauna of Haida Gwaii with Ocean House:
Source Credit: CHN - HaidaNation.ca / Haida Laas, February 2017