Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pleurothallis pterophora

Pleurothallis pterophora, has been bumped around as far as its named goes.  I understand that it is now known either as Pabstiella leucopyramis or Pleurothallis leucopyramis.  By any name, however, it is one of my favorites in that genus, is just opening its blooms.  This miniature orchid species from Brazil grows about 4-5 inches tall and holds its pristine white flowers above the leaves.  Each leaf is heavily spotted when young, but the spotting fades away as the leaf ages.  The flower spikes hold 6-10 dangling flowers a little less than half an inch long (1 cm).  The flowers are quite fragrant and smell like Lily-of-the Valley.  The name pterophora means "bearing wings," so this is the Winged Pleurothallis.  These wings, as well as the spotting on the leaves can be seen in the following photos.

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