Dendrophylax lindenii or Ghost Orchid in Indonesia called Anggrek Hantu
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Liliopsida
tribus = Vandeae
subtribus = Angraecinae
genus = "
species = "D. lindenii"
binomial = "Dendrophylax lindenii"
binomial_authority = (Lindl.) Benth. ex Rolfe
Its epithet "lindenii" is derived from its discoverer, the Belgian
plant collector Jean Jules Linden who saw this orchid for the first time in Cuba in 1844. Much later it was also discovered in the Everglades in Florida.
This orchid is an
epiphyte, anchored in a network of large, tangled mass on a tree. It is found in moist, swampy forests in southwestern Florida and Cuba.
This is an endangered orchid in the wild. Cultivation outside of its native environment has proven exceptionally difficult, but not impossible. Although many fail in the attempt to raise seedlings grown in sterile culture into adult plants, some have succeeded, and it would be a worthwhile venture for experienced orchid growers to attempt cultivation of this plant obtained from a legal sourceFact|date=September 2008. This orchid is listed on the Appendix II of
CITES and is fully protected by Florida state and federal protection laws and should not be removed from the wild.
This orchid is an exceptional
monocot, as it consists of a greatly reduced stem and the leaves have been reduced to scales. The bulk of the plant consists only of flat, cord-like, green roots with distinctive "track marks." These roots are used for moisture absorption and their chloroplasts for photosynthesis. The outer layer, the velamen, takes care of acquiring the nutrients and the water uptake. It also protects the inner layers.
This orchid blossoms between June and August, with one to ten fragrant flowers that open one at a time. The white
flower is 3–4 cm wide and 7–9 cm long and is borne on spikes arising from the root network. The lower lip produces two long, petals that twist slightly downward, resembling the back legs of a jumping frog. Its bracts are scarious - that is, thin, dry, membranous, and paperlike.
Since the roots of this orchid blend so well with the tree, the flower often seems to be floating in midair, hence its name of "Ghost Orchid".
The Ghost Orchid seems to prefer Pond Apple trees, or on occasion Pop Ash trees, being from eye-level to only a few feet above eye-level.
The plant played a pivotal role in the non-fiction book "
The Orchid Thief", and the movie based on the book, "Adaptation."