ghost orchid

Two-keeled Galeandra (Galeandra bicarinata)

Part of the Florida's Native and Naturalized Orchids Website

Classification:
  Kingdom:   Plantae - Plants
    Subkingdom:   Tracheobionta - Vascular Plants
      Superdivision:   Spermatophyta - Seed plants
        Division:   Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
          Class:   Liliopsida - Monocotyledons
            Subclass:   Liliidae - Subclass containing lily and orchid relatives
              Order:   Orchidales - Orchid order
                Family:   Orchidaceae - Orchid Family
                  Subfamily:   Epidendroideae -
                    Tribe:   Cymbidieae - Cymbidium tribe.
                      Subtribe:   Catasetinae - Catasetum and related.


Distribution Map:
Distribution map for Two-keeled Galeandra (Galeandra bicarinata)
Description:
Summary: Plant terrestrial. Leaves absent when flowering. Flower spike to 30 inches (76 cm). Flowers 2 inches (5 cm) across with green tepals and a white, ribbed lip blotched with purple.

Common Name: Two-keeled Galeandra

Habitat: Semi-tropical limestone hammocks in the southern part of the state.

Flowering season: September through November (peaking in September)

Images:
 
Two-keeled Galeandra (Galeandra bicarinata)
Two-keeled Galeandra (Galeandra bicarinata)
Two-keeled Galeandra (Galeandra bicarinata)
Two-keeled Galeandra (Galeandra bicarinata)
Two-keeled Galeandra (Galeandra bicarinata)
Two-keeled Galeandra (Galeandra bicarinata)
Two-keeled Galeandra (Galeandra bicarinata)
Two-keeled Galeandra (Galeandra bicarinata)

Description:
 

This plant was first observed in Florida in 1946 in a hammock in Miami-Dade county, where it was identified as G. beyrichii and is described as such in Luer's book. More careful study, however, indicates that this is a separate species, and it was described in 2000 as Galeandra bicarinata.

It is found in south Florida, Cuba, and the Greater Antilles. In Florida, it is restricted to a few dozen individuals in just a very few hammocks in the Everglades area.

Unlike many tropical Galeandra species, these plants are terrestrial, with subterranean rhizomes. In the spring, leaves emerge for a few weeks, only to fade well before the emergence of the flower spike in the fall.

These plants are extremely handsome when in flower, standing up to a meter high, bearing a number of large, primarily green flowers on a raceme or loose panicle. The green tepals spread like fingers of a hand behind the inflated lip, which has a green throat and a white outer margin spotted with purple. The base of the lip ends in a club-shaped spur, and the inside of the lip is coated in fine pubescence.

The rockland hammocks where these grow can be treacherous, the home of plants such as manchineel and some sort of tree with pairs of thick, clawlike thorns on its branches. It is also riddled with solution holes that can sometimes be hidden by an overburden of vegetation. One must always step warily when visiting this treasure--there may be natural booby traps to snare the unwary.

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