The Ghost Orchid

Ghost Orchid in Fakahatchee Strand, Florida, Dreamstime, by Francisco Blanco


The Ghost Orchid

(Dendrophylax lindenii)

By Ayden Planker


The Ghost Orchid is one of the most rare and unusual plants in the world. This stunningly beautiful flower is native to southern Florida and the Caribbean. Its striking visual feature is the labellum’s two long tendrils that twist downward with simple exotic complexity.

La orquídea fantasma en inglés, Adobe Stock, by Adrian de la Paz


A Flower Like No Other


Ghost orchids are delicate perennials that bloom once per year when summer rains increase humidity.

The elegant white flowers maintain their beauty for up to two weeks before yellowing and shriveling.

They grow on the bark of trees in wet, swampy forests.


Commensalistic Symbiosis


Ghost orchids are in commensalistic symbiosis with their host trees, which typically include bald cypress, palm, pond-apple, and pop ash trees.

 It is an epiphyte that gets its water and nutrients from the moist air of the Bahamas, Cuba, and Florida.

A vertical shot of a ghost orchid, iStock Photo, by Wirestock

Dendrophylax lindenii – in Fakahatchee Strand, Florida, Dreamstime, by Francisco Blanco

The ghost orchid is unique because it has a very short stem and no leaves. It takes in sunlight to make sugar through its flattened photosynthetic roots.

The endangered epiphytic ghost orchid, Adobe Stock, by Danita Delimont

Conservation and Protection


Ghost orchids are endangered in the wild and difficult to grow out of their natural habitat. They face extinction from multiple threats, with a global population decline already over ninety  percent.

It is illegal to remove them from the wild by Florida law, but protection on a federal and international level would help this rare species survive.

Be Conservation-Minded, People!

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NatEnvo was formed by BioTriad Environmental, Inc. to provide entertaining and informative media while keeping the wonders of nature in the public eye.

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