Very Small

The orchid in the photo is one of my beloved miniatures. Stenoglottis Woodii is native to South Africa, and it is deciduous. When I bought it, there were just a few dead leaves on top of the soil. I followed the grower’s instructions, and watered it very lightly while it was dormant. I was thrilled when  green shoots began to push up through the soil in March, and even more thrilled when I saw that the plant was in spike and would soon flower.

The flowers are very delicate – in perfect proportion with the rest of the plant, which is about 3 1/2 inches tall.

And here’s tiniest orchid in my collection –  no more than 1 1/4 inches tall. I have placed a quarter next to it, so you can get an idea of just how small it is. Pleurothallis alata is native to Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. When I bought it, it had what looked like spent flower stems, but the grower told me not to cut them. I followed her advice, and a couple of weeks ago,  I was astonished to see that it was in flower, but that the blooms were so tiny, I hadn’t even noticed!

Miniature orchids are right up my alley, because they live happily on windowsills, and bloom at different times throughout the year so I almost always have something in flower.

I apologize for the less than stellar quality of the photos. I had a heck of a time shooting these miniscule plants.

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About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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14 Responses to Very Small

  1. Andy Brown says:

    I just got back from traveling in Colombia, and even though it wasn’t “orchid season” the variety of orchids in bloom was pretty astonishing.

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    • dirtynailz says:

      Yes, so many of the orchids I grow are from South America. And you are right when you say that orchid diversity is “astonishing.” They are second only to the aster family for number of species.

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  2. Nell Jean says:

    No need to apologize for the photography. The diminutive size of your subjects forgives any lack. They’re a pleasure to view in bloom.

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    • dirtynailz says:

      Thanks.
      I can’t begin to explain how tiny that pleurothallis is and how frustrating it was to photograph. I also feel remiss at not having noticed when it first came into bloom. Next time, I’ll pay better attention.

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  3. herbdoc says:

    Love them, DN. I have to say that your orchid posts have sent me on a trail of addiction. I now have nine! One was a rescue from an unfortunate display and is doing well, and four of the newest come from a bare root source you recommended. All are doing well, following your regimen, but help! I’m running out of room on the buffet! 😉

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  4. cj wright says:

    That is soooo tiny, dn. I’m not having any luck with my transplants. 😦 I should have sent them to you.

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    • dirtynailz says:

      So sorry to hear that, CJ. Are they actually dying, or just languishing?

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      • cj wright says:

        One went to orchid heaven and the other is just pitiful.

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      • dirtynailz says:

        Orchid heaven? Where every plant is in flower or in spike every day and no one gets too much or too little water? I have a few plants there myself. You know sometimes, the plant is not “well grown” as orchid growers say, and you just have to toss it. It’s not always your fault.

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  5. They are rather delightful. I love tiny things, but hadn’t thought of seeking out tiny plants. There is a little volunteer restio on my garden, not quite as high as my thumb. Might put one in a bonsai pot.

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