Types of Orchids

The Mysterious Ghost Orchids


Endangered OrchidsI know it’s far from being Halloween but allow me to share to you this story about this particular mysterious ghost orchid I found while reading an article. So I got curious and did some research. And who would have known it? There are actually not one but two species which share the name “ghost orchid”.

Both of these orchids have unique characteristics that make them ghostly to begin with. But more importantly these orchids are one of the rarest of their kind and are extremely difficult to find. In fact one of these orchids is considered endangered in the wild and the other one was thought to be extinct. So people who get to see these rare orchids are very lucky and can say that they have witnessed something not of the “ordinary”, if you know what I mean. Move over Casper because these ghosts are a must to see.

The first ghost orchid I’d like you to meet is the one who most people thought to have been extinct in Britain until late 2009. After 23 years of not being seen, the Epigogium aphyllum or the infamous ghost orchid was seen again.  It was found in an oak wood in Herefordshire.  It was dubbed the “ghost orchid” simply because its flowers when viewed in dim light are transparent.

The more amazing thing about this orchid is that it doesn’t have any leaves. It can live with the littlest sunlight and doesn’t rely on photosynthesis to create its food. Instead this phantom-like plant gets its nourishment from the fungus that lives in its roots. It can live for years without blooming and is said to be the hardest British flower to see.

The second ghost is right up our alley, the Dendrophylax lindenii. Aside from calling it the ghost orchid, it is also known as the Palm Polly and White Frog Orchid. This plant can be found in the swampy forests of Florida.

Because of its rarity it is considered endangered in the wild, and by law it cannot be moved from its natural habitat. It is dubbed a ghost orchid because of its white color and because its flowers seemingly float on air when it blooms. Its roots blend perfectly with the tree; that is why it looks as if it has no stem at all to hold it up.

These ghosts are in no way to be scared of. In fact, you would seek them out yourself if you know how valuable and rare they are. Their beauty, rarity and special characteristics give them the right to be called “ghost orchids”. They are indeed worthy of their name.

Have you been lucky enough to see these orchids? Please tell us about it by leaving a comment below.

Since you are not able to remove this orchid, here is a list of orchids to choose from that you can have in your home.

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