Fort Myers Florida Weekly

Season’s first flower appears on Corkscrew’s ‘Super’ Ghost Orchid

Blooms on the Super Ghost Orchid in 2018. CORKSCREW SWAMP SANCTUARY / COURTESY

Blooms on the Super Ghost Orchid in 2018. CORKSCREW SWAMP SANCTUARY / COURTESY

The legendary “Super” Ghost Orchid at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is again in bloom. This year’s first flower appeared on Thursday, June 27. There are multiple buds on the orchid, meaning more flowers would shortly be in bloom.

The “Super” Ghost Orchid is perched 50 feet up in an old growth bald cypress tree 100 feet off the sanctuary’s famous boardwalk, so the blooms usually can’t be seen with the naked eye. The sanctuary positions a spotting scope to aid visitors in viewing this rare and endangered plant, which is special even among Ghost Orchids due to its size and abundance of blooms.

Binoculars also provide good views of the flowering plant. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary has binoculars available for rent for $3. Visitors who have cameras with strong lenses also get great views — and great photographs.

The orchid was discovered in 2007. It is decades old but possibly went undetected until 2007 because it was hidden by a cypress branch that broke off during Hurricane Wilma.

The Sanctuary is open daily from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. with the last admission to the boardwalk at 4:30 p.m.

¦ Admission is $14 for adults; $10 for National Audubon Society members who show a membership card; $6 for full-time college students with photo ID, $4 for children ages 6 to 18; and free for children under 6. Admission is good for two back-to-back days if you display a receipt.

¦ Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is at 375 Sanctuary Road, off Immokalee Road about 15 miles east of Interstate 75. See for all the details about the orchid. ¦

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