Miniature orchids are small, cute versions of regular orchids that are perfect for people who love orchids but hate all the fuss that comes with taking care of it. Most of them are hybrids specifically designed to produce smaller version of regular ones.
But did you know that there is an even smaller “regular” orchid that is sure to beat the size of what we know as mini-orchids?
Yes folks, I’m taking about the world’s smallest orchid, the Platystele jungermannioides. This orchid species is so small that if you placed your finger beside it, it would seem like a giant. When measured, this orchid stands at an incredible half a centimeter tall. And its flowers, believe or not, are only half a millimeter in width.
They are so small that in order to see them properly, you have to use a magnifying glass. The flowers are translucent green in color with a purple lip.
This orchid was discovered in 1912. It lives wildly in the lower cloud forests of Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama. It was found accidentally by expert orchid hunter Lou Jost. The funny thing is this orchid was found not in the wild but in his greenhouse below the larger plant which he collected.
This new very small plant was only 2 millimeters across and is almost completely see through. They have yet to release a name for it, but scientists say that it could be an entirely new species of orchid.
It was collected from a place where tiny orchids grow excessively, in the Cerro Candelaria reserve in the Ecuadorian Andes. So it is no surprise that this smallest orchid can also be found here.
Hopefully these tiny orchids can stand the test of time and will still be available for years to come. May the discoveries of these new species bring more awareness in their conservation and eliminate any threat to their extinction.
What is the smallest orchid in your collection? How small is it? Leave us your thoughts and comment below.
Even though these plants are tiny, they can still have a huge impact on our lives, just like this underground orchid.