Capanemia superflua is a remarkable white micro orchid, delicate and very tiny. This species was used to describe the entire genus Capanemia, which honors the Brazilian naturalist Guilherme Schüch, known as baron of Capanema.
The first description of a Capanemia orchid occurred in the nineteenth century, more precisely in 1877, and was performed by João Barbosa Rodrigues. The importance of this Brazilian botanist and naturalist is such that we celebrate orchid’s day on the date of his birth.
This white micro orchid is known to be demanding in domestic cultivation, since it requires shaded environments with high relative humidity and mild temperatures. In nature, it can be found vegetating on trees, predominantly in the southern and southeastern Brazilian states.
In order to grow Capanemia superflua successfully, some devices can be used to help increasing the moisture around the orchid, such as the humidity trays under the pots. Grouping several plants together in a more protected niche also helps to build a favorable microclimate. Here in the apartment, the most appropriate form of cultivation for this species has been the use of small plastic pots filled with sphagnum moss.
I was impressed by the light purple tint coloring the petals and sepals of this Capanemia superflua, when it first bloomed, since its main feature is the cascade of tiny pure white flowers. The rosy tone fades over the days.
As soon as the buds open, the petals and sepals of the Capanemia superflua still carry a light pink breath. After a few more days, they are completely white. I can’t decide which stage is the most beautiful. What really enchants me in this micro orchid is the abundant flowering, with multiple floral stems displaying a multitude of delicate flowers. My orchid, unfortunately, is still a little far from this condition.
This article can also be read in Portuguese: Orquídea Capanemia superflua.