Saturday, December 18, 2010

Prescottia oligantha, one of the tiniest native orchids of Puerto Rico

Prescottia oligantha is one of the tiniest native orchids in Puerto Rico.  The plant itself is of a small size, in some cases just a single two or three inch leaf growing flush against the forest floor.  I found this plant growing in the Maricao State Forest in a slope near a cliff.  The plant was composed of a single two inch leaf and a thin inflorescence with tiny non resupinate flowers.  Once you are in their favored habitat plants are not that difficult to find as you can see the leaves in the forest floor easily enough.  But the flowers are so small they demand a magnifying glass or a faily good macro lens if you want to get a good look or a reasonably good photo.  This plant is not horticulturaly significant.  Given their tiny, hard to see flowers, it is no surprise that they are virtually unknown in the local orchid growing circles.

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