Small Orchids

Some of the smaller botanicals that are easily overlooked in the wild 


These small flowers in the inflorescence of an Oberonia is much smaller than a water droplet. Oberonia are interesting plants that look vegetatively like Dendrobium of the Aporum section but the flowers are very different - this species has long two-pronged lips as you can see.

There are some orchids which have evolved to  become leafless and the photosynthetic function is done by their roots. Due to the relatively small surface to make food, these plants are usually small and slow growing. 

Both top left and left photo shows 2 Chilochista orchids from Thailand - which have thick green roots and small or no leaves.

Left: C. viridifolia.

Thrixspermum acuminitissimum is a lowland plant from SE Asia

I found this Thrixspermum scopa in Malaysia, above  large trees over a small stream. This is a common plant where it occurs and mass flowering can be very impressive. Alas, the bloom last only half a day.

Taeniophyllums are minute epiphytes that have very much reduced leaves and like the Chilochista, rely on the green roots to photosynthesise. Like Pigeon orchids, they usually flower en-mass in response to rain or temperature drop and like the orchid too, the flower lasts less than a day usually.  Shown here is T. obtusum, a fairly common species in Malaysia. 



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