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Phantom orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae)

The phantom orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae) is an uncommon orchid species which obtains its nutrients from subterranean fungi through parasitism opposed to typical photosynthesis. Lacking chlorophyll, this bright white plant makes for a striking display on densely shaded forest floors.

Phantom orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae).  El Dorado County, CA.  Stock Photo ID=PLA0392
Phantom orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae), close-up of individual flowers coming into bloom. El Dorado County, Sierra Nevada, California.
PLA0392

Phantom orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae).  El Dorado County, CA.  Stock Photo ID=PLA0391
Phantom orchid (Cephalanthera austiniae). El Dorado County, Sierra Nevada, California.
PLA0391

Next Plant: Sierra bog orchid (Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys)



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All images copyright Timothy Boomer. All rights reserved worldwide.