Pleurothallis sarracenia – 365 days of orchids – day 926

This is a small growing species from the Mata Atlantica, Brazil with 1cm long leaves that hug the bark it grows on and unusual dark purple flowers with just a tiny opening for the pollinating ant to enter the flower.

Until this year we have always grown it in a shady spot in our Cool Americas section but we moved the plant shown to Cool Asia about twelve months ago and it has really flourished in a dryer cooler brighter spot. We tried this to reflect the xerophytic look of the stiff thick leaves suggesting it is evolved for a dryer and brighter spot than most of the plants of its genus.

We haven’t yet identified what the ants find attractive about the flower and have never seen a British ant visiting flowers so perhaps the reward is specific to the local Brazilian ants.


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