Big Cypress: Dingy-flowered Star Orchid

Dingy-flowered Star Orchid (Epidendrum amphistomum) - Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

This weekend I will be searching through Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in an attempt to find blooming orchids of any variety.  I have no idea what I will find or if I will find any at all.  This isn’t the ideal time of year for some of the most spectacular species but there should be some in bloom and I’m here now so I’m going to give it a try.

Earlier this week in Big Cypress, I went for a walk out into Gator Hook Strand along a trail that I had never hiked.  The trail requires some wading and since I had been wading earlier in the day, I figured I would go ahead and dive in again.

Dingy-flowered Star Orchid (Epidendrum amphistomum) - Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

Along the trail I found at least 3 species of orchid, likely 4 or 5.  Many were just a few single leaves with no blooms so they are difficult to identify, especially considering I don’t have my flower and orchid field guides with me.  However, I did manage to find one in bloom and it was a new species for me, the Dingy-flowered Star Orchid (Epidendrum amphistomum).

As it’s name suggests, it is a fairly simply colored flower with a cluster of tiny blooms hanging at the end of a long stalk.  The individual blooms are sort of a yellowish-brownish-greenish and only maybe a half inch maximum on the longest measurement.  I headed out here only slightly prepared.  I did have my macro lens but not my flashes so I didn’t have the setup I would ideally want but I still managed a few interesting images.

This weekend in Fakahatchee I will be carrying only my landscape gear and macro gear so I will be ready if I do find any of these beautiful orchids.  Hopefully the strong winds of last week will stay down which will make my life so much easier!

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