Ghost Orchid

Ghost Orchid

Ghost Orchid

 

 

 

 

Click on picture for larger image

The Ghost Orchid is very rare and has been spotted in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary by a visitor who was probably looking for birds in the swamp. She told others about her sighting and the staff of the sanctuary has been recording and observing it’s growth and flowering blooms over the past few years. The Ghost Orchid use to be found in other wetlands in South Florida including the Fakahatchee Strand, and Big Cypress National Preserve but they have largely disappeared. Their disappearance has made the remaining ones more valuable and sought after by collectors and poachers. The Ghost Orchid needs a special moth called the giant Sphinx Moth to pollinate it’s flowers before they bloom. The destruction of the swamps in South Florida by urbanization, development of farms and canal construction to dry out the land has probably reduced the number of these moths.

Orchids are epiphytes or types of plants that do not have a normal root structure but instead grow and attach themselves to trees and other plants and derive their water and moisture by water running off these plants. The picture of the orchid above is an artificial replica that is located in the visitor center at the Calusa Nature Center in Ft. Myers. You can learn more about the Ghost Orchid by visiting the website of the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary or the ghostorchid.info website.

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Ghost Orchid

  1. debbie natelson

    Fascinating…. and sad (demise of moth and rarity of orchid). Besides the drying out of the “swamps” (aka, our beloved wetlands), the rampant use of pesticides has no doubt also contributed to the demise of the sphinx moth. It seems everyone in S. Fla (or at least SW Fla) has a “bug man” who comes monthly, at the very least to spray…. Homeowner know not what they are spraying or for what bugs., clients are happy that the bug man, indescriminatly, just gets rid of the bugs.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The state and South Florida Water Management District is trying to restore as many wetlands as they can. Maybe as these wetlands are restored we will see more rare orchids like the Ghost Orchid. Restoring wetlands will also help to provide a plentiful supply of clean fresh water which our state needs. We are now 20 million people and growing. The voters in Florida passed a law, Amendment 1 which directs the state to buy land for green spaces and wetland preserves. Lets hope they do it.

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