Everglades: Florida Butterfly Orchid

Florida Butterfly Orchid (Encyclia tampensis) - Cypress Dome, Everglades National Park

One of my favorite things to do in Everglades National Park is to get off the road, off the trail, and go exploring by wading through the marsh.  Last Wednesday morning I headed into a cypress dome that is one of my favorite places in the park.  It had been five years since I had been in there and I was interested to see how things had fared.

The site is the only location I know of to photograph the beautiful Cowhorn or Cigar Orchid.  These beautiful epiphytic plants are difficult to find and this particular cypress dome has several big beautiful plants.  The orchids are not blooming at this time of year, but I wanted to see how they had faired the last few years.

The dome is also home to hundreds of the Everglades most common orchid, the Florida Butterfly Orchid.  These plants are everywhere but they are very rarely seen and photographed, because they typically bloom in summer when visitors to the park are scarce.  Well, to my total surprise, I found a plant in bloom!  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a macro lens with me, just some wide angle gear, so I vowed to return in the coming days.

Yesterday, I returned for a quick late morning photo session and only two of the original three blooms remained.  I took a lot of photos and got several different compositions I really like.  I’ll post more photos with some more natural history in the coming week, but right now I have to run out the door for the final morning of a private Everglades photo tour.

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Comments

  1. How lovely! I discovered that we have a type of orchid at the nature center right by my house. I’m going to try to get some good shots this coming Spring.

    • Good Luck Lana. I’ve really enjoyed hunting down and photographing some of the orchids in the Everglades. I think I’ve got 4 or 5 species so far but there are a lot more down there, only problem is that they are often quite rare!

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