Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Platystele hirtzii

Platystele hirtzii is a tiny species from Ecuador that belongs to the Pleurothallidinae, the group that contains the better known genera, Masdevallia and Pleurothallis.  The plant is only a couple of centimeters tall and the flowers, held well above the leaves on thin, successively flowered spikes, are 1 cm in size.  The plant is named after a German orchid collector, Alexander Hirtz.

These pictures (obviously) were taken on a blue background and I included them because I had a picture of the plant on that background, but the pictures of the individual flowers that I took against a darker background actually turned out better.


  1. I cannot imagine the stress of moving this dainty plant about. The whisker-like spikes are a marvel

    1. You would be surprised, Marti, at how tough most orchids are, even something as small and elicate as this. When I trade plant and ship them, I usually dry them out a bit and ship them bareroot wrapped in some newspaper or other packing material and they come through just fine. I've had plants that were purchased in South America, fumigated, brought into the USA bareroot, unpacked for inspection, repacked and then sent through the USPS and they almost all come through without any serious damage.