This tiny orchis – the leaves are just 1cm long – produces the most extraordinary display every autumn, with flowers from old an new leaves that almost hide the plant.
Barbosella handroi is native to cloud forest in Brazil and we have seen the species clothing the upper branches of tall trees in primary Brazilian cloud forest at Macae de Cima in our trips there in 2000 and 2006. The forest here was damp and shaded and cool at 1200m altitude. Even in the dry season (we visted in October and again in March at the end and the start of the dry season) with little rain, the forest was dripping from mists and dew every morning.
We grow the species cool and well watered but hung up so that it dries out again relatively quickly. We weed out the moss that grows in amongst it quite regularly as moss would out compete the plant given a chance.
We have a few clones of the species that all came from a single flask 20 years ago. The clone here is the browner one with a beautifully marked little lip (see close up)