The Rarest Plant in Britain Makes a Ghostly Appearance

A British ghost haunts the forests. National Geographic details the reappearance of the bizarre Ghost Orchid (different than the famous Ghost Orchid native to Florida.) This spectral orchid, Epipogium aphyllum, only seems to show up in Britain once every few decades. It has no chlorophyll, but instead lives as a parasite on a fungus.

The Ghost Orchid is a rare phantom throughout its huge range from Europe across northern Asia. It’s known to appear once, and then never return to that spot again, leading to it occasionally being declared extinct. But instead of staying dead, it pops up decades later in a completely different location.  Science writer Richard Fortey adds “Nothing I have read explains how a plant with such minute seeds can apparently jump so dramatically from place to place. There is something almost spooky about it.” Learn more about the Ghost Orchid here.

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