Pleurothallis limae – 365 days of orchids – day 1945

This morning I found myself transported from the morning school rush to the mountains of Brazil thanks to this familiar little orchid with its tiny red flowers.

Pleurothallis limae is a Brazilian terrestrial species and we found it growing abundantly around Macae de Cima in Rio State in regrowth forest. We observed that it seemed to prefer growing in moss protected by scrubby regrowth, and made large mats of its heart shaped leaves. The habitat was in an area of regrowth at around 1000m altitude where the forest had burnt about twenty years before our visit in 2006 and the scrubby trees had reached about 3m in height with very few epiphytes.

The plant shown here was grown from seed collected in 2006 which flowered about six years from sowing. We find it does best for us in a basket on a bench in Cool Americas where it is kept damp and shaded.

Just standing by the plant I can smell the fragrant regrowth forest, feel the Brazilian sunlight on my face, and breath the humid morning air after the night’s mists and heavy dew…… just for a bit….then back to reality.

I hope your day has a bit of magic in it too.


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