Little Purple Stars

This tiny orchid’s name is bigger than the plant itself. Lepanthopsis astrophora is a Masdevallia relative, and it’s easier to grow than it is to pronounce. Its species name translates from the Latin as “producing stars,” and since this orchid can bloom for months at a time, it certainly earns the moniker.

Lepanthopsis flowersLepanthopsis flower close upLepanthopsis flowers

It helps to have Dave’s macro lens, or a magnifying glass, to really appreciate these tiny stars. Each blossom is just a speck of color, only 3/16 inch (5 mm) tall, but still a fully formed flower. This mini can produce dozens of blooms at a time, so it’s easy to enjoy the mass of purple flowers even without a lens.

Lepanthopsis flowers and budLepanthopsis flowersLepanthopsis flowers close up

Native to coastal rainforests in Venezuela and Colombia, these orchids need daily water, constant high humidity, and good air movement. Small plants can dry out quickly in high temps or high winds, and Lepanthopsis has thin roots and no pseudobulbs. It may require daily attention, but I find it’s worth the trouble to have my own collection of little purple stars.

Lepanthopsis flowers and budsLepanthopsis plant in bloomLepanthopsis flowers

Explore posts in the same categories: Intermediate Growers, Mini Orchids, Photos

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6 Comments on “Little Purple Stars”

  1. Joy Blake Says:

    My eyes are too bad for me to ever grow an orchid that small. If it bloomed I wouldn’t even realize it!!

  2. Salli Says:

    cool pics thanks

  3. Steve Watts Says:

    Wonderful photos of a really amazing orchid species. Such beauty makes it all worthwhile.

  4. HC77 Says:

    good revews that realy improve picture

  5. nancy Says:

    great pics! thanks for th post!

  6. LincolnN Says:

    That’s great macro photography! I love the close-up shots. The flowers sparkle, they look like they have glitter on them.