Platystele misasiana- 365 days of orchids – day 1923

In contrast to yesterday’s grand Guarianthe skinneri we have one of our favourite mini-miniature orchids today.

The plant shown is close to filling its 8cm basket and produces a multitude of little starry flowers about 2mm across from the bright green 2cm leaves. Does anyone fancy counting the flowers? There are 39 flower spikes this year and that each has on average eight flowers open and another seven in bud. An amazing thing.

The species is also gorgeous as a small dibision – here in5.5cm pots

This tiny miniature is native to cloud forests in Colombia at around 2000m and enjoys a shady spot with heavy watering throughout the year. The flowers are amazingly long lasting and we expect our plants to still be in full flower in two months time.

We grow plants successfully in pots and baskets and expect they would do well mounted to. Plants bulk up relatively quickly so all in all a lovely little species to grow and it can become a real specimen (see below from 2019).

We have seen several Platystele species in their natural habitats and most have been tiny miniatures but all have had charming starry flowers. The smallest species of orchid we have found on any of our trips was this Platystele compacta in Costa Rica. The whole plant is less than 2cm across.


Platystele compacta in Costa Rica showing the natural habitat of platystele species on mossy trunks and branches in cloud forest.


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