Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ghost Orchids Blooms in Florida

Suspended in what seems like mid-air, a rare ghost orchid in Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary outside of Naples, Florida is in bloom three months ahead of schedule. On March 26th, longtime volunteer Dick Brewer spotted the flower from the winding wooden boardwalk.

The leafless flower that is only pollinated by the giant sphinx moth usually flowers between June and August, so a bloom in March is highly unusual. Ghost orchids are listed as an endangered species in Florida and just 1,000 or so known plants remain, mostly in the remote recesses of public preserves, like Big Cypress National Preserve, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.