CHANHASSEN, Minn. (AP) - A rare, endangered flower is missing from the Minnesota Arboretum in Chanhassen.

Horticulturist Tom Brinda says the pink and white Showy Lady's Slipper is like a work of art and is just as valuable in the outdoor arboretum as a prized painting in a gallery.

The species is Minnesota's state flower and has been protected by law since 1925. It's illegal to pick or uproot them. Arboretum officials say a security guard noticed the single flower had been taken from the garden along the Green Heron Trail over the weekend.

Experts say the flowers take a long time to develop, sometimes 16 years, before it produces its first blossoms. The plants can also survive for up to 100 years.