JungleDragon is a nature and wildlife community for photographers, travellers and anyone who loves nature. We're genuine, free, ad-free and beautiful.

Join

Platystele sp., Bahia Solano, Colombia Meet one of the world&#039;s smallest orchids. The genus Platystele is known for orchids with tiny flowers, and within the genus, this one has some of the smallest flowers. A single flower is a mere 2-3mm in size.<br />
Taking this photo was horrible but also hilarious. We were in extremely heavy rain and I was sitting on the forest floor, two people holding umbrellas over my head whilst I tried to do a handheld shot of this absurdly small flower.  Bahia Solano,Bahía Solano,Choco,Chocó,Colombia,Colombia Choco & Pacific region,South America,World Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Platystele sp., Bahia Solano, Colombia

Meet one of the world's smallest orchids. The genus Platystele is known for orchids with tiny flowers, and within the genus, this one has some of the smallest flowers. A single flower is a mere 2-3mm in size.
Taking this photo was horrible but also hilarious. We were in extremely heavy rain and I was sitting on the forest floor, two people holding umbrellas over my head whilst I tried to do a handheld shot of this absurdly small flower.

    comments (12)

  1. WOW! You have some super cool adventures Ferdy! I'm surprised anyone noticed this microscopic flower. It is beautiful though! I wonder what pollinates it - maybe some tiny flies?! Posted one year ago
    1. Colombia is full of adventures :)
      That's a really good question I hadn't even considered yet. Looks like you're right about the tiny flies:

      "The smallest Platystele on Earth, recently discovered by accident in Ecuador, was found growing among the root mass of a larger plant: its flowers are only 2 mm across (<1/10th inch), and the gossamer petals are just 1 cell layer thick. The minute flowers of this genus rely on even more minuscule flies for their pollination."

      It's from this book:
      https://books.google.nl/books?id=TqSDBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA168

      Which also mentions that these tiny fruit flies are such poor flyers (wind affecting their flight) that platystele species are often very local. The flies are attracted to microscopic drops on the petals.

      Some incredible biology going on here.
      Posted one year ago
  2. Wow! One cell layer thick! Incredible. Definitely amazing that these flowers survive and that the flies are able to find them. Another fantastic and surreal example of how nature trumps all man-made creations. Posted one year ago
  3. It looks like the plants were detached from the ground and put onto a car seat, isn't it? It's not your usual style. Posted one year ago
    1. It's actually my camera bag. But indeed, the plant was detached from a trunk it was growing on, or more specifically a layer of mossy vegetation, so in an intact way. Our guide Manuel regularly does this for a level shot and then puts it back. Since I don't have a tripod with me, usually I'm flat on the floor to get a steady shot, they are just so tiny to focus on. Posted one year ago
      1. I hope they would continue growing after that. Posted one year ago
        1. Normally they should be fine due to being epiphytes. The way it is taken is fully with whatever it was growing on. Posted one year ago
    2. Actually I only detach them from fallen trees or branches after a thunderstorm, much of them are canopy dwellers so you don't find them growing on ground, after the pictures I usually attach them back to a tree with some string. Posted 11 months ago
  4. It's wonderful in all meanings of the word. I saw tiny orchids in Borneo but they seem giant compared to this. Thanks for sharing. Posted one year ago
    1. The pleasure is all mine to share it :) Posted one year ago
  5. Unbelievable! What a beauty!

    I'm with Christine! How did anyone even notice this?
    Posted one year ago
    1. All credit goes to our guide in finding these orchids, I didn't spot a single one. Yet I do know how to look for them now, so hoping to spot some in the next trip, although the next trip won't cover many cloud forests. Fingers crossed. Posted one year ago

Sign in or Join in order to comment.

No species identified

The species on this photo is not identified yet. When signed in, you can identify species on photos that you uploaded. If you have earned the social image editing capability, you can also identify species on photos uploaded by others.

View Ferdy Christant's profile

By Ferdy Christant

All rights reserved
Uploaded Feb 23, 2018. Captured Oct 21, 2017 10:54.
  • NIKON D810
  • f/11.0
  • 1/60s
  • ISO64
  • 105mm