Corkscrew "Super" Ghost Orchid
The "Super" Ghost Orchid was in bloom for 93 consecutive days this year at Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, from June 27 through September 27. It had as many as eight blooms at one time, for eight days in July, and a total of at least 21 flowers this season.
Discovered in July 2007, the Corkscrew "Super" Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii) has been in the spotlight each summer since as it continues to produce many flowers year after year. This orchid has drawn attention from around the world as it is the largest ghost orchid discovered so far. Our Ghost Orchid has delighted us every year since its discovery with multiple blooms throughout the summer and even a few in other times of the year (see the timeline of bloom events below). In 2014, it produced over 40 flowers throughout the year!
While Ghost Orchids typically bloom in June and July, during 2015 our "Super" Ghost Orchid's earliest blooms were spotted on Jan. 25, 2015 setting a new early-blooming record (the earliest in the year it had bloomed previously was late March of 2010). In 2017: our Ghost Orchid was blooming again in November and early December, the latest in the year we have seen it bloom so far! The last flower for 2017 dropped off on Dec. 8. It has now bloomed every month of the year! Barring any interference, once a Ghost Orchid bud opens into a flower it usually stays in bloom for about 1.5 to 2 weeks, yellowing toward the end of the bloom, and eventually shrivelling.
If you plan to visit Corkscrew to see the "Super" Ghost Orchid, plan to bring binoculars since it is about 50 feet high in an old growth bald cypress tree and about 100 feet away from the boardwalk. To get there on the boardwalk, you will have to walk just under one mile past the short cut trail on the main boardwalk loop (toward the observation tower). The "Super" Ghost Orchid is located on the left, just past the John Muir Landmark Tree (No. 2). There is a small sign on the rail to help you locate the orchid. When the orchid is budding or blooming, and if weather conditions allow, Corkscrew's Boardwalk Naturalists will have a spotting scope out to allow visitors a close-up look at the "Super" Ghost Orchid.
It was in bloom for 93 consecutive days this year, from June 27 through September 27. Last year it bloomed for 85 days. Last year's first bloom occurred July 8 and the final two were visible September 30. We will continue to monitor the orchid and post updates on this website and on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read about the scientific discovery involving the "Super" Ghost Orchid.
Here's a link to a July 2, 2019, WINK News report on the "Super" Ghost Orchid by reporter Stephanie Byrne.
Corkscrew Super Ghost Orchid T-shirts (with R. J. Wiley's photo) are available for sale at Corkscrew's Nature Store.