In the world of flowers, size does not always matter. There are plenty of small flowers that are just as beautiful as their larger counterparts. If you’re looking for a delicate and dainty addition to your garden, here are ten of the smallest flowers you can find:
Orchids come in all shapes and sizes, but many species boast very small blooms. The Vanilla planifolia orchid, for example, has some of the tiniest flowers in the world. Each blossom is less than 2mm in diameter!
- Water lilies
Water lilies (Nymphaea spp.) are one of the most iconic symbols of summertime. While some varieties produce large flowers, others have much smaller blooms. The Pygmy water lily (Nymphaea tetragona), for instance, has 4-petaled flowers that measure just 1-2 centimeters across.
Columbines (Aquilegia spp.) are beautiful springtime wildflowers with a wide range of colors and patterns. While most columbines have somewhat large flowers, the Dwarf Columbine (Aquilegia flabellata) is an exception. This variety has tiny, cup-shaped blooms that are only about 1 centimeter in diameter.
Sundews (Drosera spp.) are carnivorous plants that trap and eat insects. While many sundews have relatively large traps, some species boast very small flowers. The Pygmy sundew (Drosera brevifolia), for example, has petite white or pink blooms measuring just 2-4mm across.
- Coralroot orchids
Coralroot orchids (Corallorhiza spp.) are a type of mycotrophic flower that gets its energy from fungi rather than from the sun. These unusual flowers are found in woods and forests across North America and Europe. Many coralroot orchids have rather small blooms, including the Common coralroot (Corallorhiza trifida). This species has brownish-purple flowers measuring just 5-7mm across.
Snowdrops (Galanthus spp.) are small, white flowers that bloom in early spring. These delicate blossoms are some of the first signs of life after a long winter. While most snowdrops have relatively large flowers, the Tundra snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) is an exception. This variety has very small blooms measuring just 6-8mm across.
- Lady’s slippers
Lady’s slippers (Cypripedium spp.) are a type of orchid with showy, slipper-shaped blooms. While many lady’s slippers have rather large flowers, the Mountain lady’s slipper (Cypripedium calceolus) is an exception. This variety has small, yellowish-brown blooms measuring just 10-12mm across.
Butterworts (Pinguicula spp.) are another type of carnivorous plant that traps and eats insects. These strange plants are found in woods and meadows across the Northern Hemisphere. While most butterworts have rather large traps, some species boast very small flowers. The Pygmy butterwort (Pinguicula pumila), for example, has white or purple blooms measuring just 12-14mm across.
Hawkweeds (Hieracium spp.) are a type of flower that is found in woods, meadows, and roadside ditches across the Northern Hemisphere. While most hawkweeds have rather large flowers, the Mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella) is an exception. This variety has small, yellowish-brown blooms measuring just 15-17mm across.
Mosses (Bryophyta spp.) are small, non-vascular plants that typically grow in moist environments. While mosses do not technically have flowers, some species produce tiny structures called “gemmae” that function in a similar way. One example is the Common gemma moss (Bryoria fremontii), which has tiny, cup-shaped gemmae measuring just 2-4mm across.
As you can see, there are a wide variety of small flowers out there! So, next time you’re out exploring the garden or the woods, keep an eye out for these delicate little blooms.