discoveries

Botanic Notables: The Smallest Orchid

May 20, 2011
Submitted by admin

The discovery of the world's smallest orchid is, fittingly, the story of an intrepid explorer, an enigmatic flower, and the curious luck that brought them together. Joining other small orchids in the Platystele genus, a blossom from this superlatively small species is just 2.1 mm wide from tip to tip, and its petals are one-cell thick—all but transparent. For years, the tiny flower eluded even the world's leading orchid hunter.