The Ghost Orchid (Epipogium aphyllum) – not to be confused with the American Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii) – is a hardy myco-heterotrophic orchid lacking chlorophyll.
It is famous for its unpredictable appearance; in many localities it has been seen just once. It is found in beech, oak, pine and spruce forests on base-rich soils. It is a rare and critically endangered plant in habitat, and is believed to be extinct throughout much of its former range, although it has been recently confirmed in the United Kingdom, an area where the plants were believed to have gone extinct.
The plants are protected in many locales, and removing the plants from habitat or disturbing the plants can be a very serious matter in many jurisdictions, even for scientific study. These plants are exceptionally rare and should never be removed from habitat or disturbed.