It seems a good time for another miniatures week, and where better to start than with this tiny growing and even smaller flowered platystele species.
Regulars will know that 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. The flowers are star shaped and dominated by the relatively large orange lip. 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. The plant is about 6cm across and there are flower spikes from most of the leaves – subtly spectacular as long as your eyesight is good! The photo below shows the same plant last year.