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Huntington Museum displays couple’s rare orchid

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — You may have heard about ghost orchids by reading “The Orchid Thief” or seeing the movie “Adaptation,” but chances are you’ve never seen one of the rarest of America’s blooming flowers.

Herald-Dispatch photo by Lori Wolfe A Ghost Orchid is now on display at the Huntington Museum of Art.
Herald-Dispatch photo by Lori Wolfe
A Ghost Orchid is now on display at the Huntington Museum of Art.

Known to grow high in the swampy trees of the Everglades, a ghost orchid is now on display at the Huntington Museum of Art’s C. Fred Edwards Conservatory.

The orchid’s owners, Aaron and Maria Saxton of South Charleston, hand delivered the rare orchid to West Virginia’s only tropical plant conservatory on Tuesday morning.

Conservatory director Mike Beck, who propagates and cares for more than 200 different orchid varieties at the museum, said the ghost orchid is so rare, he has not seen one bloom in decades.

“The last time I saw one in bloom was in 1976,” Beck said. “It’s very rare for the plant to flower in captivity. Most people have to travel to the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park in Florida to see them.”

HMA and Beck are grateful to Aaron Saxton for allowing the orchid to go on display for HMA visitors to enjoy. “It’s amazing he has been able to figure out all the requirements to get this to bloom,” Beck said.

Visitors are encouraged to call ahead to make sure the orchid is still on view…

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