Orchids forum: World's smallest orchid discovered with petals only one cell thick

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 1, 2015 4:30 PM CST
The tiny plant, discovered growing inside the root of another small orchid, is just 2.1 mm wide from petal tip to petal tip.

[url=www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/worlds-smallest-orchid-discovered-with-petals-only-one]www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/world...[/url]
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Unknown

Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
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hawkarica
Mar 1, 2015 5:44 PM CST
That's really cool! Thanks, Anne.

Jim
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Mar 1, 2015 6:03 PM CST

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Teensy! Smiling
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 1, 2015 7:58 PM CST
You're welcome! Happy to share.
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Unknown

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Mar 2, 2015 8:13 AM CST
What a tiny orchid. It is amazing that it was even found.
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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 2, 2015 8:28 AM CST
I'm not understanding how it can be growing INSIDE a root.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 2, 2015 2:14 PM CST
Maybe it was 'lost in translation' Anne. Could have been nestled amongst the root system? Surely it would need to get a little bit of light.

It's truly an amazing little thing, flowers look like they're made of crystal.
Elaine

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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Mar 4, 2015 10:25 AM CST
hope it doesn't disappear forever. it looks likes its rainforest home is under saege. I like it though really pretty flower.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 4, 2015 10:31 AM CST
I forgot that orchid roots are arboreal (is arboreal the right word?).
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 4, 2015 11:24 AM CST
Sure, lots of orchids are arboreal - dwell in trees, right? And the roots are waving around in the air or twined in the bark or stuck to branches or rocks or other stuff within reach quite often, although some are terrestrial.

But I guess we should say not all orchid roots are underground, and that would explain how this tiny thing could develop within the root system of another orchid.
Elaine

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central Illinois
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jmorth
Mar 4, 2015 11:40 AM CST
Amazing. One cell thick are what some moss are.
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Name: Ted Mumm
Newport Beach, California (Zone 10b)
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TedM
Mar 5, 2015 2:53 PM CST
If you read the whole article, you'll see that whoever wrote the "inside the root" statement was mistaken.

Here's the direct quote from American botanist Lou Jost, who discovered the orchid. "I found it among the roots of another plant that I had collected . . . I saw that down among the roots was a tiny little plant that I realized was more interesting than the bigger orchid."

Not inside the root; among the roots.

Absolutely fascinating discovery and a beautiful little orchid to boot - even if you need a microscope to appreciate it!
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 5, 2015 3:02 PM CST
I confess to skimming to get the salient bits. Gotta stop doing that.

On another note, I'm going to be paying more attention to the little bits that cling to aerial roots from now on.
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Mar 5, 2015 3:06 PM CST
Yeah, they could be pests! Sticking tongue out
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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 5, 2015 3:11 PM CST
Always looking for those on just about everything.
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Name: Betsy
Texas (Zone 9a)
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piksihk
Mar 5, 2015 3:36 PM CST
Truly amazing!
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Mar 5, 2015 4:56 PM CST

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I must admit I didn't question the inside/amongst the root thing either.....
What came to my mind, was that it was perhaps growing similar to this Australian underground Orchid
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhizanthella_gardneri
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
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ctcarol
Mar 5, 2015 7:57 PM CST
Wow! There is some fascinating stuff out there that we never see. Speaks to holding your nose to the ground. The big floofy ones aren't the only flowers out there, and these don't rate photos in your average orchid book.

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