Spring Equinox

I’ll start today’s celebration of spring with a few nice photos. The first is a sweetly scented Iwanagara, a Cattleya hybrid. Next is a Paph species native to China, and then a Jasmine that’s bursting into bloom in our back garden.

Iwanagara flowersLady Slipper flowerJasmine

Here in San Francisco, we set a record high of 80F (27C) yesterday, and although today is a more seasonal 65F (18C,) spring is definitely here. But even if winter is not releasing its grip in your neck of the woods, there’s one more reason to celebrate. This news article in The Independent of London describes the exciting rediscovery of the bizarre Ghost Orchid, long believed to be extinct in Great Britain.

Britain’s Ghost Orchid shares the same common name with the famous Ghost Orchid of Florida’s swamps in The Orchid Thief, but they’re two completely different species. However, Britain’s Ghost Orchid may be even more peculiar than Florida’s. Neither species has leaves, but the British species “behaves more like a fungus than a flower, according to the naturalist Peter Marren, author of Britain’s Rare Flowers.” It lives underground, and doesn’t depend on sunlight. Instead, it makes food in its roots with the help of a fungus. It only comes into view with small, ghostly white flowers when conditions are right. As the holy grail of British botany, it’s rediscovery certainly adds a boost to any spring celebration.

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6 Comments on “Spring Equinox”

  1. nancy Says:

    my neck of the woods is still a bit chilly but thanks for trying 😉

  2. AboutOrchids » Blog Archive » Spring News Says:

    […] Orchids have been making news on both sides of the pond, and this time, it’s Florida’s turn. […]

  3. Joy Blake Says:

    Ghost Orchid seems to be a popular name. I guess if I saw a weird white flower I’d be tempted to call it a ghost also.

  4. NYBryant Says:

    Good story, thanks for your post. From your link to the orchidspecies.com page it appears that the orchid is quite common across much of the N Hemisphere. Maybe it was only thought extnct in Britain?

  5. gk1974 Says:

    I love that huge jasmine. You’re so lucky in live in California.

  6. Luis Ferrara Says:

    That seems like proof of ghosts. No wonder they found them in Britain.