It’s become an annual summer tradition at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary: The Super Ghost Orchid is in full bloom. The rare orchid is perched about 50 feet in the air on an old-growth bald cypress tree. Guests can see the orchid from the sanctuary’s boardwalk—but since it’s about 100 feet off away, they’ll need to view it through binoculars or a camera lens.
So far, the orchid has four flowers in bloom (see above photo taken July 19). The orchid typically blooms in the summer months, although in the past, flowers have been spotted in the winter. The sanctuary gives frequent updates on the status of the orchid here.
This year, the sanctuary may be in for a treat. A motion-activated camera has been mounted beside the orchid in hopes of capturing the Giant Sphinx Moth pollinating the orchid. This has never before been caught on camera. Audubon partner and conservation photographer Mac Stone led the team to mount the camera as part of a book documenting old-growth swamps in the United States. (Corkscrew Swamp is one of the few remaining.) “Should this be successful, this narrative will help anchor the importance of Corkscrew and the preservation of old growth swamps,” Stone said in a release.
The sanctuary is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Last admission is at 4:30 p.m. A spotting scope on the boardwalk will be aimed at the orchid to help visitors see the flowers.