Observation 141187: Epipogium aphyllum

When: 2008-07-21

Collection location: Zadnja Trenta Valley, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia [Click for map]

46.4° 13.7° 1000m

Who: amadej trnkoczy (amadej)

No specimen available

Code: Bot_285/2008_DSC1736, Bot_287/2008_DSC2246

Habitat: steep mixed beech/spruce woods, regularly under beeches, south to southwest oriented mountain slope, in shade, calcareous ground, on places with little or no ground vegetation and lot of rotten beech leaves, partly protected from direct rain, average precipitations ~3.000 mm/year, average temperature 3-5 deg C, elevation about 1.000 m (~3.300 feet), alpine phytogeographical region.

Place: Near Vrsič pass, southwest slopes of Mt. Prisojnik, 2.547 m (8.357 feet), alpine phytogeographical region, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia EC

Substratum: forest soil.

Comments: An extremely hard to find hardy obligate mycoheterotrophic orchid completely lacking chlorophyll. The plant has an almost legendary status as a rarity. Many people, including professionals, have been searching for it for decades in vain. In 2009 in the UK, the rare ghost orchid was declared extinct since it had been not recorded since 1987. However, in 2010, according to Guardian, 8 March 2010 a single 5 cm high plant was found again by a botanist who revealed it is still alive in the UK. In Slovenia we ‘theoretically’ have about 15 historically known localities, however, many of them not confirmed for decades. The above ground parts of the plant appear unpredictably and once only in every few years. At this location I’v saw it only in 2008 and 2011. Enlisted in the Slovene Red List of rare and endangered species, marked by “V” representing a vulnerable species. It is considered critically endangered worldwide according to IUCN 2.3. Coordinates given are not precise.

Nikon D70 / AF-S Nikorr 18-70mm/f3.5-4.5G ED / Nikorr Micro 105mm/f2.8

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In seed!

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Add Comment
Great to see this.
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2013-07-28 17:33:45 CDT (-0400)

Very NICE!

Created: 2013-07-28 16:53:05 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2013-07-28 16:53:09 CDT (-0400)
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