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.


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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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.


    • 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.


  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.


    • dirtynailz says:

      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.


  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! 😉


  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.


    • dirtynailz says:

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


      • cj wright says:

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


      • 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.


  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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s