Yes, Halloweed, not Halloween...where we celebrate hallowed weeds!
Here are a few spooky-looking or spooky-named fall-blooming orchids from the state of Florida:
odontopetala, or the toothpetal false rein orchid, is in flower now.
The small, 1/2-inch-wide flowers look like small goblins. The
spiderwebs add to the spooky effect. Did I mention that these flowers
are only fragrant at night? Haunting Florida swamps and forests with
their ghostly fragrance.
fall-blooming orchid, the Wild Coco (Eulophia alta) blooms in September
in central Florida, spreading into December in south Florida. The
flowers have somewhat of a resemblance to erect-eared, fanged dog heads.
With multiple "heads" per spike (which can reach up to five feet
tall), these are a worthy botanical analogue of Cerberus, the
multi-headed dog guarding the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology.
this orchid blooms in summertime, although occasional fall-blooming
plants are found. Still, with the common name of Ghost Orchid,
Dendrophylax lindenii is a perfect Halloween orchid. It is also keenly
night fragrant, pollinated by the Giant Sphinx Moth that also inhabits
Florida's haunted southern swamps.
Finally, Ponthieva racemosa
is known as the Shadow Witch, owing to its habit of growing in deep,
shadowy wooded areas. Blooming in October in northern Florida, it
blooms in November in central Florida and December in the far southern
end. This lovely little orchid is known for casting deep spells of wonder on those who find her in her secretive lair.
Click the "View the Gallery" graphic at the top of this blog page to see many more photos of Florida's amazing orchids.
I am a software engineer based in the metro Orlando area. On weekends, you will often find me in the field with my family photographing Florida's native orchids. I also give lectures on these orchids at many orchid, garden, and native plant societies. I am also an avid fossil hunter.