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Photolab

The unobtrusive orchid

Fotolab_image030It was a biologist’s mania that caused the glance of Carlos Eduardo de Siqueira to hone in on the whitish spot on the tree trunk on which was growing an orchid, the focus of his master’s research at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, in Florianópolis. Upon closer examination, he saw that it was an 8.5 millimeter (mm) stem that held seven flowers, each measuring less than 2 mm. He summoned his colleague Edlley Pessoa, of the Federal University of Pernambuco, and together they described a new species: Campylocentrum insulare. The tiny leafless plant, with few roots and an inflorescence that is among the smallest ever seen in an orchid, has not yet been seen again in nature.

Photo submitted by biologist Carlos Eduardo de Siqueira

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