Wow! So I had intended to start a series highlighting different species of invasive wildlife already established or in the process of becoming established in Florida, but this is really cool!
Just yesterday, another smaller single ghost orchid was found off the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary boardwalk. Over the last few years, the super ghost orchid has gotten tons of well deserved press for its rarity, succession of blooms, and amount blooms per blooming cycle. For those who aren't familiar with the ghost orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii), it is a rare, perennial, epiphytic orchid that is listed as endangered. It was formerly classified in the genus Polyrrhiza but recently moved to Dendrophylax. One of the neatest things about this plant is its co-evolution with the Giant Sphinx moth. I love these guys...and the fact that they are the only (known) pollinators of the rare Ghost orchid bump them up on the "Coolest" insect list I have in my mind. To see the pollination occur check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca--GgEe2Zg and skip to about the 1:10 mark. While I am tempted to write more about the biology of the Ghost orchid, I would be reinventing the wheel. The website below does a great job of covering information about the ghost orchid's biology.
However, if you want to see one (or two at the moment!), then you should definitely go check Corkscrew out. The super Ghost is in bloom right now, and the boardwalk naturalists have a scope up on it so it can be seen. To see photos and learn more visit our website below.
Sorry guys but I don't have any pictures of the ghost orchid!