Platystele ovatilabia (Ames & C. Schweinf.) Garay 1974

Photo by Eric Hunt

Another inflorescence

Photo by Ruben Senes and his Flickr Orchid Photo Website

Another Inflorescence

Photo by Denis Elizado and his Flickr Orchid Photo Website


Drawing by Carl Luer


Common Name The Ovate Lip Platystele

Flower Size .01" [2.5 mm]

Found in Mexico, Guattemala, Beliza, Honduras, Costa Rica and to Panama in cloud forests at elevations of 900 to 1300 meters as a miniature sized, caespitose, warm to cool growing epiphyte with an erect, slender ramicaul enveloped by 2 to 3 tubular sheaths with a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, narrowly elliptical-obovate, subacute to obtuse leaf that is narrowly cuneate into the indistinct petiole that blooms on an erect, slender, 2.2 to 2.4" [5.5 to 6 cm] long including the 1 to 1.2" [2.5 to 3 cm] long peduncle, racemose, successively many flowered inflorescence with hyaline bracts and 4 to 5 simuiltaneously opening flowers that are held well above the leaves and occur in the spring and summer.

"Characterized by the small habit, narrowly obovate leaves, a subdense, erect raceme that surpasses the leaf and produces several, minute, yellowish flowers simultaneously, with ovate, obtuse sepals, acute petals and an ovate, cellular-papillose lip as large as the lateral sepals." Luer 1990

CAUTION I am not entirely happy with this determination as the lip shows a circle at the base instead of a line. Please use with caution.

Synonyms *Pleurothallis ovatilabia Ames & C. Schweinf. 1930

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946 as Pleurothallis ovatilabia Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol VII Systematics of Platystele Luer 1990 drawing has a circle instead of a line on the lip base good otherwise; Icones Orchidacearum 5 - 6 Orchids of Mexico Part 2 - 3 Plate 637 Hagsater & Soto 2002 drawing has a circle instead of a line on the lip base good otherwise; Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; Orchid Digest Vol 80 #1 2016 photo fide; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018; Vanishing Beauty, Native Costa Rican Orchids Vol 2 Lacaena to Pteroglossa Pupulin 2020 photo fide