Pleurothallis truncata

Orchids are a wonderful diverse group of plants and this intriguing species exemplifies that diversity.

Pleurothallis truncata is an unusual species producing chains of tiny globular orange flowers that hardly open but give the most wonderful display.

The species is endemic to Ecuador where it grows from 1700m-3000m altutide in cool wet forest - so ideally suited to our Cloud Forest greenhouse (min 12C). We find the species thrives mounted, in pots and in baskets but if allowed to become too dry produced lots of little plants on the leaves (keikis) rather than flowers.

The species has the delightful habit of flowering when really small (under 10cm high) but over time becomes quite large.

One hypothesis for the unusual flowers is that they are hummingbird pollinated - very unusual for a pleurothallis. The close up photo shows the tubular flower structure presented for a visiting hummingbird - presumably one that likes lots of little sips of nectar. Humming bird pollinated orchids are usually red, orange or bright pink.