Epipogium roseum

Ghost orchid, leafless nodding orchid

This terrestrial saprophyte grows in moist rainforest usually in rotting timber. The flower stem emerges after heavy rain but is short lived lasting only a week or two.

This orchid has no leaves being a saprophyte but merely an underground tuberous rhizome. The flower stem grows to 60 cm tall with up to 40 flowers. The individual flower is about 10 mm long on a conspicuous fat ovary. The drooping flower does not open widely and is cream with purple spots on the labellum.

This is a very distinctive orchid and cannot be confused with any other orchid.

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