Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Bulbophyllum minutissimum F.Muell.

Frost-tender epiphytic orchid with creeping stems, orbicular pseudobulbs, 1-2mm in diameter, and scattered red flowers in spring.  [Jones, FNSW, Beadle].

Horticultural & Botanical History

I have found no specific information on the horticultural history of this plant but it was quite widely spread, including in the vicinity of Sydney: ‘Dr. Woolls has published a complete list of the plants indigenous and naturalised in the neighbourhood of Sydney, arranged according to the system of Baron F. von Mueller, K.C.M.G.  It is an enlarged and revised edition of a list published some years ago, and is now issued under Government auspices.  The Tree Ferns and Cabbage Palms, we learn, are fast disappearing, and it is to be feared that the gigantic Lily, Doryanthes excelsa, and Bangalore Palm, Ptychosperma Cunninghami, will share the same fate.  Bulbophyllum minutissimum, the smallest of Australian known Orchids, has ceased to grow in a spot where it was found in 1849, but which is now in the midst of the city of Sydney.  Other species are increasing rapidly, and introduced plants are dispossessing the natives.  Of such introductions, 175 are enumerated in the list before us, the total number being given as 1405, distributed among 513 genera, and 110 orders.  The list is a mere enumeration of names systematically arranged, and with an alphabetical index.  The list will be very serviceable to working botanists, and important also as an historical record.’  [GC p.143/1891].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [O.3/1850].  Probably obtained locally.


It is possible that Macarthur’s ‘Bolbophyllum minutum’ is another related species, many of which would fit the epithet minutum.  We have insufficient information to make a certain identification.

Bulbophyllum minutum Engl (1908), synonym Megaclinium minutum (Engl.) Rolfe, is not Macarthur’s plant.

Bulbophyllum minutum Thouars is a Madagascan species, but this does not appear to be a valid name.

Published Jan 24, 2010 - 11:13 AM | Last updated Jul 28, 2010 - 03:42 PM

Family Orchidaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Australia

  • Oncophyllum minutissimum (F.Muell.) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.
  • Dendrobium minutissimum F.Muell.
  • Bulbophyllum moniliforme F.Muell.
  • Phyllorckis minutissimum (F.Muell.) Kuntze
Common Name

Red bead orchid

Name in the Camden Park Record

Bolbophyllum minutum 

Confidence level medium