The Hoof of Venus

Discover the Tarn river Canyon’s flowers

After raising your head to the sky to follow the Tarn river Canyon’s cliffs, do not forget to lower your eyes in order to examine on the ground a more discreet but nevertheless famous treasure: orchids! Of all colors and sizes, the most famous of them is of course the "Lady’s Slipper" (Venus’ clog in French).


Lady’s Slipper in the Tarn river Canyon

Listed on the Red List of the Threatened Flora of France, the rarity of the "queen of orchids" on the European and national level is such that it had to be protected by a decree. In France, it is found between 300 and 1200 meters above sea level. In 1999, an inventory noted that the Tarn river Canyon site in Lozère was one of the most favorable for the observation of these flowers, and for a good reason: its population in the Tarn river Canyon is probably the 3rd in France. Not difficult to recognize it: it is a perennial plant with a height of between 25 and 60 centimeters, having large flowers with purple colors while the hoof-shaped "lip" is yellow streaked with purple. Its flowering varies from year to year depending on the brightness, humidity and temperatures. It takes place once or twice a year.