Published: November 2, 2018, 11:00am | Modified: June 19, 2019, 1:21pm
One of the most elusive plants native to Florida is the Ghost Orchid. Learning more about these rare and endangered plants will help us to preserve them for future generations.
What is a Ghost Orchid?
This rare orchid, Dendrophylax lindenii, is found primarily in humid, marshy areas of Cuba, the Bahamas, and Florida. Ghost orchid plants are also known as white frog orchids, thanks to the frog-like shape of the odd-looking ghost orchid flowers. Blooms have a white, other-worldly appearance that lends a mysterious quality to ghost orchid flowers. The plants, which lack foliage, look like they’re suspended in air as they attach themselves to tree trunks via a few roots. Their sweet nighttime scent attracts giant sphinx moths that pollinate the plants with their proboscis which is long enough to reach pollen hidden deep within the ghost orchid flower.
A Mysterious Florida Native
With the exception of a handful of people, nobody knows exactly where ghost orchid plants grow. The high level of secretiveness is to protect the plants from poachers who attempt to remove them from their natural environment. Like most wild orchids in the United States, ghost orchid plants are also threatened by loss of pollinators, pesticides and climate change. Experts at the University of Florida Extension estimate that there are only about 2,000 ghost orchid plants growing wild in Florida, although recent data suggests there may be significantly more. Growing ghost orchid flowers at home are nearly impossible, as it’s extremely difficult to provide the plant’s very particular growing requirements. People who manage to remove an orchid from its environment are usually disappointed because ghost orchid plants almost always die in captivity.
A One Stop Garden Shop is here to provide the best possible service and availability of plant species. Contact us today to learn more about ghost orchids and other rare plants available at our Palm Beach County garden center.