Epipogium aphyllum, known as the “Ghost Orchid” or “Ghost Orchid”, or more popularly as the “Eurasian Ghost Orchid”.
Actually there is one more type of orchid that bears the title “ghost”, namely Dendrophylax lindenii, known as the “American Ghost Orchid”.
Between Epipogium aphyllum and Dendrophylax lindenii are 2 different genera, only coincidentally have a “weird” appearance, not because of its scary shape, so they are both given the title “ghost”, so it has nothing to do with real ghosts.
Epipogia aphyllum Swarz.
Satyrium epipogia L.
Epipogium aphyllum, is an orchid plant from the Orchidaceae family. This plant lives in areas of beech, oak, pine and spruce forests on a rich base soil. This Epipogium aphyllum orchid plant, including a very rare and endangered plant in its natural habitat, and was declared extinct since 20 years ago, but new hope has been opened, because it was recently reported that this ghost plant has been rediscovered, according to confirmation by researchers. from England.
Epipogium aphyllum lives above ground level, and has no leaves. Live from the help of mycoheterotrophs (epiparasites) that get nutrition from mycorrhizal tissue by involving basidomycete fungi which in turn are related to the roots of various types of conifer trees. This plant lives below the soil surface, digging stems that lack chlorophyll and have short leaves with small scales. So it is very difficult to find this plant on purpose, except when this plant will bring out its flowers, then this plant will also raise its stalk through the soil surface and develop its flowers. It was only when it was flowering that we could find this ghost orchid plant, Epipogium aphyllum. When not flowering, this plant lives below the soil surface. Maybe this is why this plant is called a “ghost”, “because he is there but not seen”, but suddenly one day this plant appears and immediately blooms in very large numbers.
This plant is widespread, but is currently very rare in its habitat. This plant is found in areas that usually experience winter. According to reports, this plant is found in Japan, Russia, England and France. The plant’s dense rhizomes are colonized by pincer-connection bearing fungi and dolipores, all Basidiomycetes, gill or pore fungal species, which are usually found growing on the roots of coniferous trees.
The complex lifestyle, because it depends on several parasites, fungi, trees and their environment, makes this plant almost impossible to maintain in different environments, let alone in human housing.
This Epipogium aphyllum orchid has never been successfully cultivated in the laboratory, because this plant not only requires certain fungal symbionts, but also certain trees that form mycorrhizal mushroom species as life support for this Epipogium aphyllum orchid plant.
This species can produce a stunning forest display by displaying a dozen flower stalks bearing 3-4 flowers each growing out of the ground.