Platystele examen-culicum Luer 1976

SUBGENUS Platystele

Photo by Duane McDowell and his Flickr Orchid Photo Website


Photo by Ecuagenera and their Ecuador Orchid Website


Original Drawing by Padre Pedro Ortiz Conserved at the Herbario de la Universidad Javeriana, Bogota Colombia


Photo by Oliver Lenhard

TYPE Drawing

TYPE Drawing by Carl Luer


Common Name The Mosquito Swarm Platystele [reference to the appearance of the many small flowers]

Flower Size 1/32" [3 mm]

Found in Antioquia, Cundinamarca and Santander departments of Colombia, Pichincha and Carchi provinces of Ecuador and Amazonas department of Peru at elevations of 1500 to 2800 meters as a miniature sized, cool to cold growing epiphyte with erect to suberect, slender ramicauls enveloped basally by 2 to 3 ribbed, imbricating sheaths and carrying a single, apical, eret, coriaceous, narrowly elliptic-obovate, subbacute to obtuse leaf that is narrowly cuneate into the petiole and blooms in the spring on an erect to suberect, loose, distichous, flexuous, 2.4 to 6" [6 to 15 cm] long including the .6 to 1.2" [1.5 to 3 cm] long peduncle, successively few to many flowered, racemose inflorescence arising laterally from the ramicaul and having oblique floral bracts.

"Several full-flowering plants of this species were discovered by George Luer in a dark, wet habitat on vertical rock beneath overhanging vegetation. Sticking out from the rocky embankment they resembled several swarms of small mosquitoes. Dense tufts of little leaves were bearing numerous, zig-zag, nearly invisible, hair-like flowering stems, each bearing several spindly, minute, brown flowers. All floral parts are wide-spreading and long-attenuate. The minute brown speckling adds to their camouflage. The lip is ovate and thickened in its lower third, and truncate at the attachment to the base of the short, broad column." Luer 1976

"Similar to P oxyglossa but P examen-culicum had longer, narrower, long-attenuate floral parts, especially the long-subulate lip." Luer 1990

Synonyms Platystele culex Luer & R. Escobar 1981

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * Selbyana Vol 3 28 Luer 1976 Drawing fide; Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol VII Systematics of Platystele Luer 1990 drawing fide; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 4 Dodson 2003 drawing/photo fide; Orchid Species of Peru Zelenko & Bermudez 2009 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 89 #11 2020 photo fide;