Is there a Miniature Orchid Plant?

My friend was in Panama and said her guide showed her “miniature orchid plants” growing on the leaves of the trees. Were these really orchids or some type of bromeliad?

Hi Miranda,

There are many kinds of miniature orchid plants that produce very small but absolutely beautiful, complex flowers. These plants are usually found in Mexico, Central and South America and the West Indies, but you can order them from growers on line. Lepanthes (from the Greek “scaled-flower”) is a large group of mini orchids with about 700-800 species. These orchids often grow on the leaves of other plants. Here are a few pictures.

Tiny red Lepanthes Orchid
Lepanthes jmcalsa Orchid Plant
Purple miniature orchid plants
Miniature Orchid Plants on Slabs

Lepanthes mini orchid plants like low to moderate light, medium to cool temperatures, high humidity and good air circulation. They grow either in small pots with with an epiphytic mix or mounted on treefern or cork slabs with a little moss around them, or in a terrarium.