Yesterday’s small growing scarlet orchid (Cattleya coccinea) seemed to go down well so how about a much smaller orange flowered orchid with really tiny flowers. Later today we will launch our votes for Orchid of the Year 2019 and will have several categories to add interest. One category will be miniature orchids and the criteria will be that the whole of the plant can fit in the palm of your hand so this will definitely qualify as the whole plant shown is 3cm across.
As you will have seen we have lots of very small flowered orchids but this tiny orange flowered species from South and Central America is an extreme case of miniature.
Platystele stenostachya is a mini-miniature found all the way from Mexico in the north to Peru in the South. It has been reported from sea level up to 1700m and with such a range is not surprisingly a variable species in terms of flower colour and shape. Our plants have tiny golden star like flowers with a deep orange lip. The species is almost always in flower and a really interesting addition to any collection.
The species is a tough little grower and produces lots of roots suggesting it can cope in dryer conditions that a lot of the tiny members of the pleurothallis family. We have had this plant for a few years and it is approaching specimen size and it is covered with flowers – subtly spectacular as long as your eyesight is good!