In todays live talk ‘Summer in the Orchid House’ I will be introducing some of the wonderful diversity that summer flowering orchid species exhibit. One of the moist bizarre is this Brazilian species.
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.
The species enjoys conditions in our Cool Americas section providing it grows high up and so keeps a little dryer than some of our Pleurothallis species.
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.