Saturday, December 17, 2011
Porroglossum amethystinum a tiny and yet very weird orchid from Ecuador
When I first saw this little orchid I was totally stumped as to what orchid genus it could belong. My ignorance can be excused on the basis that I had never previously seen an orchid of the genus Porroglossum. These orchids are known for the particularity that they have a sensitive lip that retracts into the flower when touched. The movement is triggered by an insect which is forced the lip’s action into contact with the plant pollinia. There are a few specialists orchid growers in the United States that keep Porroglossum species but I have never seen this one before. The flowers are lovely but small, the inflorescence is quite long in comparison with the flower size. Because of the many other orchids with larger flowers in the Cabañas Armonia site I almost missed this one. I saw this plant in the town of Mindo Ecuador.