The Ghost Orchid, Dendrophylax lindenii, is one of the most fascinating and elusive flowering plants found in Florida.

It thrives in the swampy, humid environment of the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, often referred to as the “Amazon of North America.”

The rare orchid is renowned for its distinctive and ethereal beauty, characterized by white, spider-like petals that give it a “ghostly” appearance.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Ghost Orchid is its method of pollination. It relies on a specific species of night-flying moth, the Giant Sphinx Moth, for reproduction.

The moth is attracted to the orchid’s intense fragrance, which only occurs at night, and as it goes for the nectar, it inadvertently transfers pollen from flower to flower. The Ghost Orchid’s reliance on such a specific pollinator adds to its vulnerability and rarity.

Human activity and habitat loss have led to its status as an endangered species, making sightings of its blooms even more special and infrequent to the delight of avid orchid enthusiasts and conservationists.

The plant plays a pivotal role in the non-fiction book The Orchid Thief, by Susan Orlean.