GOLDEN GATE ESTATES — A ghost orchid in bloom is one of the year’s most anticipated sights for nature lovers in Southwest Florida.
This year, it came early to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in northern Collier County.
Corkscrew manager Ed Carlson said the rare white orchid bloomed Friday at its usual spot along the sanctuary boardwalk _ but three months early.
The orchid usually doesn’t bloom until June, he said.
“People are thrilled,” Carlson said.
Carlson said he’s checking with orchid experts to see whether the early bloom is unprecedented and what might have caused it.
He said an uncharacteristically cold and wet winter could have something to do with it.
The ghost orchid gets its name because it seems to bloom from out of nowhere and the bloom appears to float in mid-air.
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, located off Immokalee Road in northern Collier County, is open every day starting at 7 a.m.
The boardwalk closes at 4:30 p.m. until April 10 and at 6:30 p.m. starting April 11.