March 22, 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.

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