The Kentucky Native Plant Society was founded in 1986 to bring together anyone interested in the native plants of Kentucky. They intend to increase awareness, promote preservation and conservation of their native flora. Please see their informative website for their list of activities.
The Society publishes The Lady Slipper, a quarterly newsletter for its members. This is also available on their website from 1986 to the current issue.
The Kentucky lady’s slipper, Cypripedium kentuckiense, has fused petals that form a pouch and resemble a slipper or shoe. This orchid has been collected for not only its beauty but its medicinal properties as well. For more information please see The Genus Cypripedium, by Phillip Cribb.
François André Michaux (1770–1855), a french botanist and son of Andre Michaux, contributed immensely to the botany of America. In his book, North American Sylva (1817-1819) he emphasized the importance of Kentucky flora in forging his ideas.
Constantine S. Rafinesque (1783-1840), a self-educated and gifted naturalist, spent several years in Kentucky as a Professor of Botany and Natural History at Transylvania University in Lexington. While there he traveled the state and collected thousands of specimens—though not taken seriously in his lifetime Rafinesque has become appreciated for his contributions and forward thinking.