Lepanthes ranks as the twenty-eighth largest genus of plants by number of species, with approximately 800 taxa in the group. Within the orchid family, it is tied for fourth-most numerous with Epidendrum (and following Bulbophyllum, Dendrobium, and Pleurothallis).
Its numbers slowly creep up with the discovery of new species. The genus can be found from Mexico to central South America, which is among the foremost areas of the world with the most undescribed vascular plant species. Lepanthes alvarezii, for example, was discovered in 2005. It is named after its discoverer, Luis E. Álvarez, who first collected the species at an elevation of 2800m (~9200 ft.) on the eastern slope of Páramo de Guasca. You can read the scientific description of the species via Orquideología: Lepanthes alvarezii (PDF).
Tamara wrote an entertaining entry for Lepanthes dewildei, which also features a photograph from today’s photographer.
Lastly, if you’d like to revisit more older entries, the postings for July 2005 have all been updated/repaired.