Florida's Native Orchids

Butterfly orchid

Butterfly orchid, Encyclia tampensis.
Photo: Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org

Florida's ghost orchid is well known among plant lovers, but it's just one of the state's ninety-nine native orchid species.

Although less eye-catching than commercially grown tropical orchids, some native orchids can provide an interesting element to your garden.

The Florida butterfly orchid is the showiest of the natives, producing small but pretty flowers. The night-scented epidendrum is grown for its fragrant flowers.

The spider orchid produces a spike covered with small, white, spider-like flowers. It can be difficult to grow from seed, but once established, it's one of the easiest terrestrial orchids to grow.

If you're interested in native orchids, be sure to buy plants from a reputable source, and never collect them from the wild. Many species, like the ghost orchid, are threatened or endangered.

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