Rare ghost orchid has multiple pollinators, groundbreaking video reveals

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. These rare, charming orchids were long thought to be pollinated by a single insect: the giant sphinx moth.

But now, photographs by Carlton Ward Jr. and Mac Stone show that a couple of moth species other than the giant sphinx visit and carry the ghost orchid’s pollen—and the giant sphinx itself may play a completely different role than previously thought. Grizzly Creek Films in partnership with bioGraphic capture the discovery in this impressive short.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email sfs@natgeo.com. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.

Rare ghost orchid has multiple pollinators, groundbreaking video reveals

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. These rare, charming orchids were long thought to be pollinated by a single insect: the giant sphinx moth.

But now, photographs by Carlton Ward Jr. and Mac Stone show that a couple of moth species other than the giant sphinx visit and carry the ghost orchid’s pollen—and the giant sphinx itself may play a completely different role than previously thought. Grizzly Creek Films in partnership with bioGraphic capture the discovery in this impressive short.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email sfs@natgeo.com. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.