A blooming Ghost Orchid is a very rare sight, so imagine my surprise when I spotted this beautiful specimen in an ice rink. Made famous with the bestselling book The Orchid Thief and the movie Adaptation, Ghost Orchids are rare in the wild, tough to grow, and uncommon in cultivation. It’s the holy grail for orchid geeks like me. I’d never seen one in bloom at any orchid show, botanical garden, or greenhouse, so it was quite an unexpected discovery last weekend at the Orchid Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania Show in Erie.
This Ghost Orchid was part of an exhibit by Kim and Edgar Stehli of Windswept in Time Orchids. They’re located in Broadview Heights, Ohio, and can be reached by phone for sales at 440-838-5757. Ghost Orchids amaze with their stunning, fragrant white flowers and lack of leaves. They grow by using chlorophyll in their roots. Some of these photos show the greenish-white tangle of roots dangling behind the exotic flower. Ghost Orchids are native to swamps and coastal forests in South Florida, the Bahamas, and Cuba.
I’ll post more photos from Erie soon, but this remarkable bloom is my choice as the highlight of the show held in an ice rink. Even if I’m lucky enough to see another Ghost Orchid flower again, I’ll bet it won’t be so close to a Zamboni.
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