The plants are intolerant of water with high levels of dissolved salts; this will result in the roots dying off from the tips. The famous ghost orchid from Florida. The ghost orchid is leafless but has photosynthetic roots that allow it to produce sugars in the presence of sunligh… Almost all the places in Florida where ghost orchids are found have had their hydrology altered by development in surrounding areas. In Big Cypress, for example, the landscape is significantly drier in the last 15 years than it has been historically, he says. Much later, it was also discovered in the Everglades in Florida. The number of ghost orchids there is around 1,200, and it is illegal to pick any of them from the wild. They like to be kept moist, but not wet, to stimulate increase in biomass and active root growth when small. Ideally, the moth will travel to more than one ghost orchid plant, thus transferring pollen. Blooming is triggered by subjecting the plants to a cool, dry resting period, with only very light misting every few weeks, and lowering the humidity in the growing environment for a period of several months in late fall and early winter, when the plants are large enough to support flowering, typically with a root mass of 7-8 inches across. Plants should not be allowed to pollinate and set seed unless the plant is very large, at least 10 inches across, as plants without sufficient biomass will transfer all of their stored reserves into making a very large seed pod, and then behave much like an annual and die after seed set. In Corkscrew, for example, from 1960 to 2000, the water ran dry in the cypress forests for two months of the year at most, according to the study. Orchids are the largest family of flowering plants in the world with over 25,000 species known and many more likely in existence. [1][3] Other common names include palm polly and white frog orchid. All rights reserved. (Learn how to photograph an orchid from a National Geographic photographer.). With continued protection, the ghost and other orchids will continue to inhabit the unique mosaic of ecosystems that is South Florida. The ghost orchid, with its long, delicate petals and spur of nectar has become a symbol of the South Florida landscape. The ghost orchid is so rare that it has been put on the list of threatened and endangered plants in Florida, one of the few places where it grows. “Picayune doesn’t have a lot of ghost orchids anymore, though they used to,” Owen says. And the draw here is no ordinary ghost orchid but a massive plant known as the "super ghost." When attempting to produce seed pods from one of these plants, if the plant has multiple flowers, all of them should be hand pollinated with pollinia from a different plant, if available, and only one seed pod allowed to remain on each plant, since not all of the flowers may be successfully pollinated. While Corkscrew is closer to suburban developments than most of the orchids’ other habitats, subdivisions are spreading. It seems to prefer Annona glabra (pond-apple) trees, or occasionally Fraxinus caroliniana (pop ash) trees.