Mindstate Motivation Blog

The Ghost Orchid

Each of our lives are like that of the Ghost Orchid…rare and beautiful. A little background is in order to explain that statement.

I have the privilege of living in one of only two known areas of the world in which the Ghost Orchid exists in the natural environment. The two areas in which it can potentially thrive are Southwest Florida and Cuba.

The Ghost Orchid gets its common name from the fact that when it is not in bloom it is almost impossible to see in its natural environment. The perfect environment has to contain an array of ideal circumstances coming together in just the right way for the orchid to even exist. The circumstances include the right host tree on which it can thrive. The orchid is an epiphyte rather than a parasite so it does not harm the host. The host tree only provides the support structure on which the orchid can grow. There must be an ideal combination of shade and humidity. The seed of the plant must be infected by a beneficial fungus before it can germinate. The only source of pollination for the Ghost Orchid is a Sphinx Moth that has an approximate wing span of six inches, a similar length to its proboscis, and does its search for nectar only at night.

If all of the above circumstances, as a minimum, exist then the Ghost Orchid has a chance of growing into a thriving, beautiful addition to its environment. Its believed to enhance the beauty of its environment through its blossoms on an annual basis but that is not a certainty. It can bloom inconsistently, however, but if it does, its time for blossoming is generally any time from May through August. The rest of the year, due to its lack of leaves it survives as a “ghost” to the environment around it since it is so hard to see.

The Ghost Orchid is a rare and endangered plant. It is very difficult to artificially cultivate. Estimates are there are only approximately one thousand orchids growing in the their natural environment in Southwest Florida. The picture at the beginning of this article is of an orchid blooming this summer in a beautiful, pristine cypress forest located within Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. This particular plant is located on a cypress tree approximately forty-five feet above the forest floor so the picture was taken through a telescope. It is estimated to be thirty to fifty years since it began to establish itself on that tree trunk.

So, why do I share with you all this detail about the Ghost Orchid. The answer is simple…consider the miracle of all the circumstances that have to come together to allow this magnificent variety of plant to thrive. Savor its beauty as shown in the above picture. Then…

Consider the miracle of all the circumstances that have come together to allow the even more rare existence of your life. Think about it…there are one thousand Ghost Orchids…there is only one of you in all of the world. Savor the beauty of the bloom your life brings to the world. Then…

Realize each of our lives are like that of the Ghost Orchid. Each in its unique way rare and beautiful and truly a miracle!


I help people and organizations Profit Through Performance. As a speaker, trainer and business consultant/coach, my areas of expertise to help drive improved performance are Success Principles; Leadership, Presentation, Sales/Communication Skills; and Strategic Planning/Problem Resolution.


Copyright (c) 2007 Gary Greenfield, Performance Alliance, L.C. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be used without prior written permission.

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