Platystele tica Karremans & Bogarín 2014

TYPE Drawing

Photo/TYPE Drawing by © Karremans

Part shade Hot Spring Fall

Common Name The Costa Rican Platystele

Flower Size .08" [2 mm]

Found in Costa Rica in wet premontane forest at elevations of 300 to 450 meters as a mini-miniature sized, hot growing, caespitose epiphyte with erect slender ramicauls enveloped by 2 to 3, tubular, imbricating, slightly compressed, brownish and papery with age, membraneous sheaths and carrying a single, apical, erect, elliptic, conduplicate, subacute, emarginate, narrowing below into the conduplicate petiolate base leaf that blooms in the spring and again in the fall on a racemose, distichous, peduncle .48" [1.2 cm] long, .6" [1.5 cm] long overall, successively single, several flowered inflorescence with acute, conduplicate, as long or longer than the pedicel floral bracts.

"Platystele tica is without obvious close relatives in Costa Rica. General plant morphology would suggest affinity with the P. oxyglossa group, as does the lip shape. The new species, however, lacks the typical caudate sepals and the reddish-purplish coloring of the lip. Flower coloration and size are somewhat reminiscent of Platystele minimiflora (Schltr.) Garay, however that species has a creeping habit. P. tica has one of the smallest flowers in the genus rivaled only by that of P. enervis Luer, P. ornata Garay and P. umbellata P.Ortiz. It makes the previous Costa Rican famous dwarfs, P. jungermannioides (Schltr.) Garay and P. microtatantha (Schltr.) Garay, look large. This species might not necessarily be rare, we have observed at least a couple of specimens more in the field and photographed by enthusiasts, but considering the minuscule size of the plant and flower, the lack of herbarium collections and habitat loss in the area it grows, it is not unsurprising that it had escaped description. ." Bogarin & Karremans 2014


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * Lankesteriana 12[3]: 271 Karremans and Bogarin 2014 photo/drawing fide; Vanishing Beauty, Native Costa Rican Orchids Vol 2 Lacaena to Pteroglossa Pupulin 2020 photo fide