New Zealand’s Ghost Orchid Hunter

New Zealand’s tiny Ghost Orchid isn’t easy to find. (Even though it shares a common name, it’s different from Florida’s famous Ghost Orchid of The Orchid Thief fame.) The New Zealand species is the only member of the Corybas genus that has stopped using photosynthesis. Instead, it lives off nutrients from fungi. Without chlorophyll, it’s not green, but brown. Botanist Carlos Lehnebach spent ten years searching before he found one. Now that he’s spotted it near Wellington, he’s hoping to understand the genetic changes which let it stop harnessing the sun’s energy. After all this time, Lehnebach still isn’t sure how rare it is. “It’s so difficult to find, it could be that the hills where I’ve been looking are full of it.”

Explore posts in the same categories: In the News, Mini Orchids

Subscribe to the About Orchids Blog:
AddThis Feed Button

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.