Lunchtimes this week have been dedicated to a a thorough Autumn clean up in the greenhouse and my team have been working really hard clearing moss and algae in our Cool Americas section. Amongst the plants being moved for the big clean was this floriferous little Pleurothallis species that generated a lot of interest from some of our newer greenhouse club members.
We have a number of small pleurothallis species with masses of small flowers and each has a character of its own. Pleurothallis obovata is charming not just for the number of flowers (up to about 50 from each leaf base) but for the contrasting creamy white flowers and the red flower stems and bracts behind the buds. The species also has attractive spoon shaped leaves that make it easy to identify even when not in flower.
The species is found right across South America, Southern Central America and parts of the Caribbean. It is native to wet montane forrest from 500m up to 1800m, a slightly warmer environment than some of the related species we grow but plants seems very happy in our Cool Asia Section (Min 12C).