Orchid Flowers

Facts about Ghost Orchids

Posted on: April 15, 2011

The ghost orchid which is also known as Dendrophylax lindenii is a rare type of orchid which is mostly found in Cuba and Florida. It is rare because it is difficult to cultivate outside its natural environments.  Ghost orchids like marsh environments to grow where there are always humid and damp conditions. Ghost orchids are considered to be the endangered specie of orchids so they are not allowed to be removed from their natural habitat.

How to identify it?

It is very hard to identify ghost orchids in moist areas because their green, white and gray roots grow over a host tree that’s why they are called epiphyte which means that they grow when attached to another plant. Surprisingly ghost orchids don’t have leaves and bloom for only three weeks during months of April to August. Another method to identify ghost orchids is from their smell as they produce soap-like smell while blooming.

Appearance

Appearance of ghost orchids is quite interesting as it resembles a white frog flying in air and sometimes it looks like ghost floating in air. That’s the reason it is called ghost orchid. As far as appearance of flower is concerned, it has three white petals and three sepals as well having a strengthening network of roots.

Flowers

Ghost orchids produce only one flower at a time but in rare cases they can also produce up to 10 flowers. It has also been observed that mature plants of ghost orchids live a number of years without flowering. Flowers of ghost orchids appear between May and August and grow to a size of 4 to 5 inches long. Flowers last for approximately 10 to 14 days.

Pollination

The ghost orchids flowers’ pollens are located deep inside the blossom so only giant sphinx moth is able to pollinate ghost orchids as it has long antenna. For pollination to occur at its best, two ghost orchids are required although hand pollination can also occur by using cotton swabs to accumulate pollens and inserting them onto flower.

Production of Seed Pods

Lack of sphinx moths is a basic reason of the rare production of seed pods of ghost orchids so pollination is difficult to occur. But once the blossom of ghost orchid is pollinated, a seed pod is formed which requires almost a year to reach its maturity. After the pod becomes one year old, it pops open to scatter the seeds.

Growing Requirements

High humidity and high temperature are required for proper growth of ghost orchids and recreating these requirements in homes to grow orchids is almost impossible. Moreover ghost orchids require diffused sunlight and daily misting to grow properly therefore ghost orchids mostly grow well in greenhouses where all these requirements are fulfilled.

These were some basic facts about ghost orchids. These are endangered specie of orchids so steps should be taken for providing proper environment to these different-looking flowers.

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