Dendrophylax funalis, Jamaican Ghost Orchid

Dendrophylax funalis

Jamaican Ghost Orchid
Family: Orchidaceae
Origin: Jamaica
Semi-shadeShadeEpiphyte plantUnusual colorWhite, off-white flowersFragrant plant

An amazing and unusual miniature Angraecoid orchid that somehow reached the Caribbean, a completely leafless orchid whose thick long greenish roots perform photosynthesis.

New roots and 4" spikes emerge from a terminal stem, up to 6 large blooms appear on each spike, the 2" flowers are lime green with a large flat bi-lobed white lip and a green 2" spur, highly fragrant and described as smelling fruity and reminiscent of an apple.

Dendrophylax is a genus of leafless neotropical orchids native to Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and Florida. The plants of this genus are unusual in that they consist of masses of photosynthetic roots anchored in trees with a highly reduced stem and ephemeral leaves which have been reduced to scales. The bulk of these plants consists only of flat, cord-like, green roots with distinctive "track marks". These white track marks are called pneumatodes and function in much the same manner as stomata allowing the photosynthetic roots to perform gas exchange to support photosynthesis.

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