Tag Archives: Mosquito

The tiny Mosquito Orchid

Over the last week I have been frantically busy, and… well, wishing I had more time to go and hunt for some orchids.  So today’s post is going to be rather informal!  I do have some pictures to share with you, that were taken about this time of year, 15th May 2012.  They are of the Mosquito Orchid (Acianthus pusillus).  I have written about them before.

The flowers are very small, and the whole plant can stand up to 10 cm for a tall plant.  However, most seem to be closer to 6 or 7 cm high.  The following leaf shows the different growth stages.  If there has not been rain for some time, it generally stays the same size, but after a downpour, the leaf expands.

Acianthus pusillus

I thought the follow picture was quite cute.  It is so tiny, but as the buds open, it would probably become taller.

Acianthus pusillus

And here are some other, healthy specimens.

It is not uncommon, either to find fields of these orchids.

Acianthus pusillus

Enjoy your weekend, and hopefully I’ll see some orchids soon.

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The little hardy one

Acianthus pusillus – Mosquito Orchid

This orchid is so common, many orchid enthusiasts overlook it when on an orchid excursion.  It is small, difficult to photograph, and as it is very close to the ground, many don’t think it is worth the effort getting all the way down to photograph it.  It is a tough and hardy little plant.

Nemacianthus caudatus is a similar species but has longer sepals.

It is very small.  On a healthy flower stem of just over 10cm, it may have over 10 flowers.  The flowers are less than half a centimetre high.  Coupled with its size, and dark colour it is very difficult to photograph.  I’ve observed that photos taken with a flash make the stem and flowers appear a dark brown/red colour but without a flash it looks more purple.  It has a distinctive heart-shaped leaf which is purple underneath.  Its sister is Nemacianthus caudatus (Mayfly Orchid), which flowers after the Mosquito Orchid.

It does have a long flowering time from April to July.  This occurs if they are not pollinated.  The little pollinator is a small fly, which is difficult to find even on a large colony of plants.  However on some of these plants we had at home I notices some of these pollinators.

Like most orchids, the little mosquito orchid tends to grow in shady areas.  This orchid is often found near the bases of trees, in a moist little corner.  It does have a tendency to grow in colonies.

Know Them