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Orchids 101: The biology behind these elegant flowers

Paphiopedilum spicerianum

Photo: Anna Norris

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It's a trap!

Orchids that belong to the lady's slipper subfamily, like this Pahiopedilum spicerianum, have little pouches that trap insects. But unlike carnivorous plants, these flowers don't want to digest the insects — they just want the bugs to pick up some pollen on their way out.