Thursday, December 03, 2009

World's smallest orchid - marvelous

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
- William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

Even botanists must be thinking poetic thoughts about the newest species of orchid. It is 2.1 millimeters Less than 1/10 inch) across. The transparent petals are one cell thick. It comes from Cerro Candelaria reserve in the Ecuadorian Andes, in a country where over 1,000 - you read that right, 1,000 - species of orchid have been discovered in the last century.

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