Scientists in Ecuador have discovered not one, not two, but THREE new species of orchids in the montane rainforests of Ecuador.

A team of researchers from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador discovered one of the new species along a roadside. This orchid has a yellow and red colored flower. The scientists named the orchid after the Caranqui culture that historically lived in the region where the orchid was found. The new orchid’s scientific name is Lepanthes caranqui.

Lepanthes caranqui

The Lepanthes caranqui flower is very small, measuring only 8 millimeters across, or less than three-eighths of an inch. Image by Diego Francisco Tobar Suàrez.

The other two orchid species that were discovered:

Lepanthes microprosartima

The flower of Lepanthes microprosartima, measuring 13 centimeters (5 inches). Image by Diego Francisco Tobar Suàrez

Lepanthes oro-lojaensis

A close-up of the Lepanthes oro-lojaensis orchid flower, which measures 3 centimeters (1.2 inches). Image by Diego Francisco Tobar Suàrez.

Modified from an original article on

The scientific paper about the new orchids:

Suarez, F. T., López, M. F., Gavilanes, M. J., Monteros, M. F., García, T. S., & Graham, C. H. (2021). Three new endemic species of Lepanthes (Orchidaceae, Pleurothallidinae) from the highlands of Ecuador. PhytoKeys180, 111-132. doi:10.3897/phytokeys.18062671