Mystacidium gracile

Family: Orchidaceae

Countries: Africa, Madagascar, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Mystacidium gracile is an almost leafless miniature orchid, that grows as an epiphyte.  This is not a parasitic plant.  Mystacidium gracile grows upon another plant, but this orchid does not take any sustenance from its host plant, it just uses its host to raise itself up to achieve a more prosperous position.  The host plant allows this miniature orchid to benefit from experiencing more favourable growing conditions.

This is a semi leafless orchid species.  Plants usually produce a few leaves, especially early in the growing season.  This orchid species’ roots are its most prominent feature; plants have many more roots than leaves.  Younger plants are more likely to produce leaves, whereas older plants tend to display fewer leaves.  Mystacidium gracile produces pale limey green coloured, slightly winged flowers.

Mystacidium gracile originates from Madagascar and South Africa.  This is a cool growing orchid species, that thrives in a very humid environment.  In the wild, Mystacidium gracile can be found growing on tree trunks, in very shaded positions, far away from any direct sunlight.

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