Platystele vetulus Luer & Hirtz 1990

Photo by Alexander Hirtz

TYPE Drawing

Drawing by Carl Luer and The Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbaria Website

Common Name The Little Old Man Platystele [refers to the long white hairs of the floral parts]

Flower Size .2 [5 mm]

Found in Pichincha province of Ecuador at elevations around 2000 meters as mini-miniature sized, cool to cold growing epiphyte with an erect, slender ramicaul enveloped by 2 to 3, tubular sheaths and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, elliptical, obtuse, cuneate below into the slender, long-petiolate base leaf that blooms in the winter on an weak, suberect, arising laterally from the ramicaul, loose, distichous to 6 [to 15 cm] long including the 1.2 [3 cm] long capillary peduncle, successively single, few flowered inflorescence with one third as long as the pedicel floral bracts.

"The long, white, ciliate hairs bordering all floral parts are unique in the genus. Except for the long cilia, the flowers would be similar to several others of the genus." Luer 1990 .

CAUTION The drawing is the type so it is absolutely correct but there are many photos out on the net of a species with this name that has an umbellate inflorescence like P umbellatum, it is not this species. This species has a flexuous, successively single, many flowered inflorescence with flowers that have long cilia on all floral parts


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol VII Systematics of Platystele Luer 1990 drawing fide; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 4 Dodson 2003 photo fide