Two really tiny orchids

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KyushuCalanthe

Just call me Tom
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For those of you who don't "go to the other side" here are a couple neat little plants I'm growing from the genus Corybas. These tiny orchids are found from southern Asia to Australia and New Zealand. Some are temperate plants with a defined growing season while others are tropical and follow no specific schedule. They grow from tiny bulbs and go through distinct growth cycles including a dormancy.

The first is C. hipidus, an Australian species. This guy is tiny, standing less than 3/4" tall. Here it is next to my thumb.



I put a paper collar around its little "neck" so you could see the frills better on the relatively huge lip:



The little heart shaped leaf is nestled right against the growing medium and is actually smaller than the flower itself! It is winter green and summer dormant:



Here is its even smaller(!) tropical cousin from Indonesia, C. pictus. The leaves have a velvety texture and jewel orchid like venation.

Front and side views:





And the plant with an American quarter. Yes, they really are tiny plants!



Unlike C. hispidus that has a very specific seasonal dormancy, this species has a more random cycle, going dormant after a time and then growing and flowering again. This is my first year growing it, so I have no idea how it will do in my conditions, but I've been told it is fairly easy to grow and it multiplies well. As with C. hispidus it requires high humidity at all times.

Here's a comparison shot. These are in actual relative scale. The bud development is very slow, taking over a month to open, so the flowers are also long lived: the C. hispidus has been in flower for a month now.



Finally, a shot of their little lodgings. The plastic cup is necessary to keep humidity very high since low humidity results in bud blast.



So far I love these little guys! If you are careful, they are not supposed to be that difficult to grow despite their tiny sizes. I hope they like life at my place.
 
G

goldenrose

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I'm really enjoying looking at these! Not enough to try them though! Love the photos!
 

JeanLux

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Really very interesting plants and esp. flowers, but I am afraid, they are hard to find, and not easy to grow! Jean
 

kentuckiense

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I had to do a double-take when I saw your username, Tom. It's good to have you hear. Thanks for the Corybas shots; they are a personal favorite that I don't get to see very often.
 

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