I am delighted by orchids. The huge variety, somewhere around 25,000 species in 880 genera, means that one could collect and study them for a lifetime and never see all of them. Eric Hansen wrote a riveting book, Orchid Fever: a horticultural tale of love, lust and lunacy, that describes the lengths to which people will go to find rare orchids. I read this book before I had an interest in collecting orchids. It is that good of a story. I read it right after reading Susan Orlean's, The Orchid Thief, then seeing the movie. Coincidentally, I was given my first orchid soon after reading these books.
It has such perfect tiny orchid form. Also tiny is this ascocentrum miniatum. It is blooming now. I took this picture earlier this evening while Wayne held a ruler so you can see the how small it is. It looks much like a vanda, but in miniature.
This is not a miniature, but it is small, with flowers just an inch in diameter. I love the hint of pink blush on the outside of the petals. Phaleonopsis are one of the easiest orchids to grow for beginners.
The prize for tiniest orchid in our yard goes to bulbophyllum maximum. We bought this a couple of weeks ago at the USF Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Show and Sale. At the time, it had a spike on it with little bumps. The seller told me it was the bloom. He misled me. The tiny bumps were buds and they are now blooming.