Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ghost Orchids

I guess my dad and I finally got caught up in all the hype about seeing a ghost orchid.  Ghost orchids are beautiful white orchids that only grow in a few areas of the world.  The Everglades being one of them.  They only bloom between June and August and one of the reasons they are so rare is that they can only be pollinated by the giant sphinx moth. Ghost orchids were also featured in the book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean which was turned into the movie Adaptation starring Nicolas Cage.

We decided that this was our next "challenge".  Upon doing some research I came up empty handed because apparently, the location of ghost orchids is very secretive information.  I even found out that there is an Orchid Mafia in South Florida that feels it is their duty to protect these locations from orchid thieves.  During my research, I narrowed our search locations down to Fakahatchee Strand, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, and Big Cypress.  So basically the entire Everglades.  I cannot divulge details but we eventually found out where to go.

We set out this past Thursday morning knowing we were in for a very wet hike.  Once we got to the bog the water was waist deep.

Our "tour guide" told us what to keep our eyes out for but even then they can still be difficult to find.  We found our first one after just a few minutes.

First Ghost Orchid of the Day

They are truly spectacular flowers!  I have seen many tropical, bright colored orchids but these are just incredible.  They are so delicate and detailed.  We realized we wanted to see many more.  After a few more minutes of searching around the swamp, we found another!

In all, we spent a few hours in this bog searching for ghost orchids and were lucky enough to find 10!  Here are some more photos:

Double Ghost

The only information I can give you if you want to see one for yourself is to head to the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary where they have a super ghost orchid plant on a tree visible from their boardwalk.  If you click the previous link, they keep their page updated on when it is blooming.

No comments:

Post a Comment