Ruth is responsible for today’s write-up:
Thank you to codiferous@Flickr (original via BPotD Flickr Pool) for today’s incredible picture. This miniature orchid was found on a fallen tree branch over a quebrada
(a geographical feature similar to a salt flat) (note: see comments below re: quebrada being a ravine with a stream at the bottom) in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica.
This species of Acianthera was originally described by Rudolf Schlechter in 1907 as Pleurothallis congiauxiana. In 1978, Luer and Selbyana called the same species Pleurothallis congruens. This was followed in 2001 by Pridgeon, M.W. Chase and Lindleyana publishing its currently accepted name, Acianthera cogniauxiana. The species name cogniauxiana is in honour of the Belgian scientist Alfred Cogniaux. I would have incorrectly guessed that the species prefix “cognia” would have had something to do with the mind or cognition due to its mind-boggling size (up to 6 cm (or 2 inches)) and cuteness (infinite).
When searching for information on this species, use the previously accepted genus name of Pleurothallis for best results. The pleurothallid orchids are either terrestrial or epiphytic
dwarfs (note: see comments below).
For additional reading on some recently described species of Acianthera, see Three New Species Of Acianthera (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) From Costa Rica by researchers from Jardín Botánico Lankester, Harvard University Herbaria, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Escuela de Biología (Universidad de Costa Rica).