ghost orchid

Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa)

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:   Spiranthoideae - Spiranthoids
                    Tribe:   Cranichideae - Cranichids
                      Subtribe:   Cranichidinae - Cranichid subtribe


Distribution Map:
Distribution map for Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa)
Description:
Summary: Plants with an evergreen basal rosette of glossy, green leaves. Flowering stems to 14 inches (35.5 cm) tall. Flowers around 1cm across, cream with green striping, oriented nearly parallel to the ground.

Common Name: Shadow Witch Orchid

Habitat: Swamps and moist woodlands.

Flowering season: October through December (peaking in November)

Images:
 
Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa) - flower closeup
Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa) - flower closeup
Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa) - flower spike
Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa) - flower spike
Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa) - flower spike
Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa) - flower spike
Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa) - flower spike
Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa) - flower spike
Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa) - flower spike
Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa) - flower spike
Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa) - plant
Shadow Witch Orchid (Ponthieva racemosa) - plant

Description:
 

Late fall in north and central Florida usually does not have much to offer orchid-wise...most terrestrials are wrapping up for the year, storing whatever they can in their underground portions prior to the first below-freezing night, which usually does the above-ground parts in.

Starting in October in northern Florida, and wrapping up in December in southern Florida, this woodland species comes into its own during this otherwise sparse time

The evergreen basal rosettes of leaves grow in rather swampy areas, and are all that is seen of this plant except during blooming. Plants reproduce vegetatively via runners, as well as sexually via flowers and seeds and can form extensive colonies over time. The flowers of P. racemosa are pleasantly fragrant, smelling faintly of citrus.

Another Spiranthine orchid, Spiranthes odorata, blooms at the same time as this species, and the two often share the same habitats

Return to the Gallery of Native Orchids


Copyright © 2008 Prem Subrahmanyam, All Rights Reserved.
No Text or Images from this web site may be used, in whole or in part, without the express permission of the author.
For further information, see the Terms of Use page.