I would like to wish you all a very nice Christmas with images of this lovely Lepanthes, named after Melpomene who initially was the Greek muse of singing and later became the muse of tragedy. Perhaps it only works in my warped mind, but it somehow seemed a fitting theme for the day… the rest of you – go with the intense beauty of the species! It is truly mesmerizing! …and with a little imagination once could see a little santa elf with a red hat and white beard. Flowers measure almost 1 cm tall, so granted you really need to get in close to appreciate the detail, but the intensely sharp shape in contrast to the softer vintage feeling color combination is just lovely and well worth the effort.
Lepanthes melpomene is a miniature cool to cold growing epiphyte from the cloud forests of southeastern Ecuador where it grows at 2200 to 2850 meters. I got it from Ecuagenera this spring, and it is now blooming for the first time. I grow it mounted in the cool vivarium, humid, breezy and medium bright.
Lepanthes melpomene Luer & Hirtz, Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 61(3): 117 (1996).