Oberonia anthropophora – 365 days of orchids – day 1363

This is an amazing orchid with the tiniest of flowers and a brilliant name reflecting the flowers looking like tiny little orange people (anthropophora means person like) . The flowers are just 2mm across and there are several hundred of them that open successively along the 20cm flower spike – the flowers at the end open first and you can see this as an orange tip to the spike in the photograph. The plant is 15cm high amd 12cm across.

The species is found across South East Asia to the Himalayas and we have come across about twenty oberonia species in our travels through Sikkim, Assam and Laos. Although oberonias have small flowers their is a great diversity of form and flower detail – as long as you have a magnifying glass or super macro lens available. These days photographing tiny flowers is made easier with cheap macro lenses available for mobile phones (as used for the close up here)

Oberonia anthopophora is found in warm lowland forests and we grow the species in mounted in our Warm Asia section in shade. Plants seem to prefer to dry out between waterings and so dislike the increased moisture available in a pot.


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