Uncovering the Ghost Orchid in the Everglades
Tis the season, and we here at Everglades Adventure look forward to sharing expert insight about the Florida Everglades with you when you book an adventure with us. Our tours are in English but one of our guides is fluent in English and German, we offer comfortable air conditioned transportation, and two pickup locations on Fort Myers Beach, we make it easy and fun to come exploring with us!
Our in depth tour of the ecosystems of sw Florida begins with a cruise of the splendorous mangroves of Estero Bay, Florida’s first Aquatic Preserve. We often see dolphins, and birds in the lush flora for creation of spectacular memories. We take off to the Everglades in our comfort-equipped 11 passenger van, to load up on airboats for a thrilling ride through the prairie grasses, hammocks surrounding Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. We’ll see wildlife at it’s best, and teach you about the diverse and rare specimens that call this grouping of ecosystems ‘home sweet home’, including the rarest of the rare, the elusive and coveted Ghost Orchid.
In the midst of the sawgrass prairies and swamps, the Everglades has raised islands that sit a couple of feet above sea level, which are the home to mahogany, oaks and banyan trees. These areas harbor the rarest of orchids, including the nearly extinct Trichocentrum undulatum, the Ghost Orchid. A flower so rare in its beauty, that avid orchid lovers and botanists will wade through the trenches of the Everglades just to take a moment to gaze upon it, to revel in their find and take photographs of it. Botanists have grown these once plentiful exquisite flowers in labs and transplanted them back into their native environment of the Everglades, in hopes that they will repopulate in the area. Their repopulation depends upon many factors, including being left untouched by would-be poachers and the mysterious way in which they are pollinated by the Giant Sphinx Moth. The moth has it’s own battles to face within the Everglades, not limited to whether there is a sufficient dry season for it to transcend from it’s chrysalis state into the flying wonder with the 12” tongue needed to get into the stem of the flower and retrieve it’s nectar.
Come along with us for the adventure of a lifetime, we may just stumble across one of these beautiful and rare flowers!