An unusual and rare flower – Phantom Orchid.

Laura Baker found this rare beauty, a Phantom Orchid, Cephalantheru austinae. If you look closely, there is a Click beetle on top.

Phantom Orchid, Cephalanthera austinae, with a click beetle by Laura BakerHere's what Laura said about this flower:

"The Phantom orchid is well-named since it is pure white except for some yellow in the flower parts. It has an interesting and complex relationship in the forest ecosystem as a mycotroph. The orchid gets its nutrition from a fungus which, in turn, must get its food in the form of sugars from green plants. In this case, most likely the Douglas fir tree under which this orchid bloomed.”

A treasure in the forest! Thanks to Laura for allowing me to share her photo with you here.

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