The ghost orchid blooms just once a year, usually for a week or so in June or July
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Armed with an orange staple gun and dozens of burlap squares entwined with ratty green roots, Mike Kane wades hip-deep into the swamp to restore what generations of thieves have stolen.TheOnce abundant in the Florida Everglades, experts say fewer than 2,000 ghost orchids (Dendrophylax lindenii) are left in the state, where it is considered an endangered plant. Kane's lab has also seen some unusual success with botanists managing to coax ghost orchids to bloom in the space of three years.The ghost orchid is tough to grow and even tougher to keep alive, especially when ripped from its natural environment.The plan aims to re-establish eight different kinds of rare orchids, including the ghost orchid, throughout urban spaces in south Florida.Elsewhere in the Florida Everglades, biologist Mike Owen keeps close tabs on 120 of the 380 ghost orchids that have been observed in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.Owen and his colleagues are compiling a list of all the known ghost orchids in the region. Perhaps one day, this data will support a petition to get federal endangered species protection for the ghost orchid, he said.Scientists who seek to preserve this rare orchid say it's about more than just a flower.
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