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Chasing Ghosts

Deep in remote Florida swamps, a team of researchers and photographers have made a new discovery that upends what we thought we knew about the ghost orchid, one of the world’s most iconic flowers, and how it reproduces. In their quest to identify the pollinator of the ghost orchid for the first time, this team spent three summers standing waist-deep in alligator- and snake-laden water, swatting air blackened by mosquitoes, and climbing to sometimes nausea-inducing heights. They came away with an even deeper love for Florida’s wildest wetlands—and with surprising revelations that may help to conserve both the endangered orchid and its shrinking home.

 

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