Pollinating Ghost Orchid
The ghost orchid flower (Dendrophylax lindenii) rarely forms a seed capsule since pollination seldom occurs. Hand pollination is done to ensure a capsule grows to bear viable seeds in about 9. It is one of the rarest and most coveted of all North American wild orchids. As a leafless plant its green roots absorb nutrients as well as photosynthesize carbohydrates as a source of food. It is an endangered epiphyte, growing on trees in relatively deep swamps in southwest Florida.