Photo by @CarltonWard | The seductive ghost orchid survives in remote South Florida swamps, usually hanging from twisted branches of a pond apple or pop ash tree forming cathedral arches above shadowed wetlands. Approximately 2,000 ghost orchids are known to exist, of which a small fraction bloom each year, and even a smaller number are pollinated. Once sought by collectors and smugglers, the ghost orchid is surrounded by cultural lore, including the book The Orchid Thief and movie Adaptation. Even today, the exact locations of these rare plants must be kept secret for their protection. The ghost orchid is thought to pollinated by the giant sphinx month, the only flying insect with mouth parts long enough to reach into the ghost orchids extended nectar spur. This summer I will be working with researchers to place precision camera traps near orchid blooms with hopes of capturing evidence of the pollination which is thought to happen in the middle of the night. Please follow @CarltonWard to join me in the swamps on this quest. And check out the work of fellow @NatGeo Explorer @Peter_Houlihan who has done his PhD on Ghost Orchids in the Fakahatchee Strand. #GhostOrchid #Orchid #Swamp #Everglades #PathofthePanther #FloridaWild #KeepFLWild.