This is one of our iconic miniatures. Lepanthopsis astrophora has leaves less than 1cm long and relatively long spikes of tiny flowers each of which is a perfect purple star (hence the name). The flowers are long lasting and the species is in flower for most of the year although this month plants are looking particularly good with clouds of the tiny purple flowers
The species is native to cloud forests in Venezuela and we find it succeeds mounted in a shady spot and sprayed daily. It is a good idea to keep a magnifying glass handy so that visitors can wonder at the lovely little flowers.
The plant shown has 44 flower spikes in flower or in bud – not bad for an orchid on a cork mount 5cmx3cm. The species is a real favourite of our orchid project students.
Caitline says “It would make a great badge”, Tallis suggests “or a fascinator”, while according to Harris ‘It looks like a fleet of alien spaceships in a sci-fi movie.”
I think that they are all correct, a lovely little plant with a good name.