Enjoy browsing the Orchids





Masdevallia is a genus of some 350 species usually from cool, misty mountains of the New World Tropics. Masdevallias are best known for their showy flowers consisting of sepals fused into a tubelike structure. Their origins in cool, damp environments make them an excellent choice for cool or coastal climates. Most species and hybrids are compact enough so that they can be easily accommodated on windowsills or under lights. ("Masdevallia angulifera Orchi 01" by Orchi - Self-photographed. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.) Click image for larger view.







Lycaste skinneri Orchi 07.jpg
Lycaste skinneri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Maxillarieae
Subtribe: Lycastinae
Genus: Lycaste
Lindl., 1843

See text


Deppia Raf.

Lycaste, abbreviated as Lyc in horticultural trade, is a genus of orchids that contains about 30 species with egg-shaped pseudobulbs and thin, plicate (pleated) leaves.


Lycaste flowers, like all orchid blooms, have three petals and three sepals. The petals are typically yellow, white, or orange, and the sepals are yellow, orange, green, or reddish brown. The petals and sepals may be marked sparsely or densely with red, reddish purple, purple, or reddish brown spots. The lip (ventral petal) may be very similar to the other two petals, as in Lycaste aromatica or Lycaste brevispatha, or colored quite distinctively, as in several subspecies and varieties of Lycaste macrophylla. Most Lycaste flowers are medium in size, averaging about 5 to 10 cm, but Lyc. schilleriana is 16-18 cm across. Some Lycaste blooms have a unique fragrance - the scent of Lyc. aromatica has been variously described as cinnamon or clove. The blooms of the species Lyc. cochleata, consobrina, and cruenta also have a pleasant scent.


The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, maintained by the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, is recognized by the American Orchid Society as the definitive authority on orchid taxonomy. The Checklist currently acknowledges 31 species of Lycaste, 3 natural hybrids, 2 subspecies (and 1 nominate subspecies), and 1 variety. Orchid growers and orchid collectors, who tend to be taxonomic "splitters" more often than "lumpers" (see lumpers and splitters), recognize additional subspecies and varieties of Lycaste, as well as alba (white) forms of several species.

The Lycastes have been divided into four sections, one of which has two subsections:

  • Section Deciduosae - deciduous, that is, they usually lose their leaves during an annual dormant period
    • Subsection Xanthanthae - have yellow to orange blooms; the name is from xantho - yellow, and anthos - flower
    • Subsection Paradeciduosae - have pink-marked white blooms; the name is from para- similar or near, and deciduosae- deciduous ones
  • Section Longisepalae - has very long sepals
  • Section Macrophyllae - keep their leaves during dormancy; the name is from macro- large and phyllae- leaves
  • Section Fimbriatae - typically have fringed lips

All but two of the Deciduosae have spines at the apices of their pseudobulbs, that become exposed when the leaves are dropped - the exceptions are a Xanthanthae species, Lycaste lasioglossa, and a Paradeciduosae species, Lycaste tricolor. Both of these species lack spines, and may bloom when leaves are still present.

The recognized Xanthanthae species include:

The Paradeciduosae species include:

The Macrophyllae form a large complex, with subspecies and varieties that can be considered to be in the process of differentiating into new full species. The Macrophyllae species include:

The Fimbriatae species include:

Natural hybrids :

  • Lycaste × groganii (Lycaste aromatica × Lycaste deppei)
  • Lycaste × michelii (Lycaste cochleata × Lycaste lasioglossa)
  • Lycaste × smeeana (Lycaste deppei × Lycaste skinneri)


  • Angulocaste (Anguloa x Lycaste)
  • Cochlecaste (Cochleanthes x Lycaste)
  • Colaste (Colax x Lycaste)
  • Lycasteria (Bifrenaria x Lycaste)
  • Lycida (Ida x Lycaste)
  • Maxillacaste (Lycaste x Maxillaria)
  • Zygocaste (Lycaste x Zygopetalum)

A recently published (2003) revision of Lycaste by Henry Oakeley and Angela Ryan split off most of the species of section Fimbriatae as the new genus Ida. The 34 species of Ida occur in South America or in the Caribbean Islands (Ida barringtoniae), while true Lycastes occur mostly in Mexico and Central America. The genus Ida is recognized by the World Checklist of Monocotyledons.







Bulbophyllum is one of the largest genera in the orchid family Orchidaceae. With more than 2,000 species, it is also one of the largest genera of flowering plants, exceeded only by Astragalus.[2] This genus is abbreviated in the trade journals as Bulb. It is found throughout most of the warmer parts of the world: Africa, southern Asia, Latin America, the West Indies, and various islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.[1]



  1. Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. David G. Frodin (2004). "History and concepts of big plant genera". Taxon 53 (3): 753–776. doi:10.2307/4135449. JSTOR 4135449.


  • J.J. Vermeulen : Orchid Monographs Vol. 7 (1993), A taxonomic revision of Bulbophyllum, sections Adelopetalum, Lepanthanthe, Macrouris, Pelma, Peltopus, and Uncifera (Orchidaceae). iv + 324 pp., 25 text-figs. + 116 full-page line drawings, 6 pp. colour plates. ISBN 90-71236-17-X
  • Siegerist E.S.: - Bulbophyllums and their allies Timber Press, 2001, 77 colour photos, 296 pp ISBN 0-88192-506-3 - devoted solely to Bulbophyllums, it is an introductory guide for amateur and advanced orchid growers.

External links





Maxillaria is not a popular genera among growers. Only a few species grow big, showy flowers. But some species are nevertheless sought by collectors, mostly for the fragrance of their blossoms, such as the Coconut orchid (M. tenuifolia) See photo, right. Also fragrant is the yellow Max. variablilis.  No black orchid has ever been grown yet, but Maxillaria schunkeana is probably the closest to it. Its color is actually a very dark purple-red, giving the impression of a black flower. Click above for larger image



Thursday, 10 December 2015 08:43

Masdevallia Elven Gem

Written by


moderate to bright light
allow to dry between watering
50% is optimum
warm temperature tolerant
blooms in February





Deep fiery red flowers on this warmth tolerant Masdevallia. 

Tom P. was awarded an AM/AOS (score of 82 points) by the AOS Judging Center in Sacramento for his Masdevallia Elven Gem in February of 2015.  He named this Masd 'Mem. Linda Garbesi' in honor of his first wife. Photo credit: Ramon de los Santos 


Wednesday, 09 December 2015 07:00

Bulbophyllum scaberulum

Written by

moderate to bright light
allow to dry between watering
50% is optimum
warm temperature tolerant
blooms in February




Karen O. exhibited her Bulbophyllum scaberulum var. scaberulum and was awarded a CBR /AOS for her efforts.  She named her Bulb. scaberulum 'Karen's Oddity'. 

Saturday, 21 November 2015 22:48

Maxillaria Orchids

Written by

A genus widely distributed throughout Central America; from Brazil to the West Indies. The 200 species v ary great ly sanderiana and g randiflora are representative of those which have short rhizomes and clustering pseudobulbs. Another species of which tenuifolia is typical, has pseudobulbs borne at short intervals on long, scandent, or ascending rhizomes. Maxillaria te nuifolia The culture of Maxillarias is very similar to that given to Lycastes. The plants should be kept moist all year round and be shaded rather heavily during sunny weather. The plants with scandent rhizomes are better placed on blocks of wood or pieces of tree fern. Attention must be given to the airing should a black spot appear on the foliage. This is usually due to stagnant moisture. In a ma nner common to most epiphytes, M axillaria species have their own particular host trees and some will be found o nly on that type of tree and no other. Lithophytes should not be regarded as any different and may grow on only one type of rock surface. It is little wonder when taken into common cultivation that some of the species will thrive where others languish. Alt hough this genus has captured the attention of many orchid growers, it has not achieved the heights of popularity reached by genera such as Cattleya and Masdevallia. All species of Maxillaria are evergreen, most with prominent clustered pseudobulbs. With s uch a large genus it is difficult to generalise as to cultivation practices. However, it can be safely stated that the majority of species tried, have proved to be easy and rewarding subjects to grow. Clumping species are generally grown in pots whereas th ose with a creeping habit can be grown in hanging pots or baskets. In cultivation they should be treated as epiphytes; some pot - grown, some in wire baskets and slat baskets. Most of the genus prefers to grow into large undisturbed plants and small propagat ions are always slow to get away and make up into flowering specimens. Potting material may vary according to cultivation, but generally should be based on bark mixes which will withstand drying out. The rest periods vary greatly. Some require as long as s ix months but others may be in continual growth and flowering phases throughout the year. The root systems of most plants are a little more permanent than some epiphytes and surface growth rather than immersion in potting mixes seems to suit them. This lea ds to cork, tree fern or tree branches. Fertilizes for this genus may be a little different from those applied to other epiphytes. If liquids are used they should be very weak applications in the later growth stages and stopped as the pseudobulbs reach ma turity. Plants mounted on cork slabs or any other type of mount should be immersed in a bucket of water containing one small teaspoon of Aquasol or similar fertilizer for a couple of minutes once a week or less frequently. All sorts of variations may be th ought up but the plants will suffer from over fertilizing just as much as from too little. If the roots are destroyed for any reason the rehabilitation of Maxillarias may take from two to three years and result in loss of most of the leaves. Any potting mi x should be capable of retaining a little moisture, but all excess water should be able to run freely from the pot almost as soon as applied





Ricardo Tadeu de Faria*; Luciana do Valle Rego; Anderson Bernardi and Hugo Molinari

Departamento de Agronomia da Universidade Estadual de Londrina. Caixa Postal 6001, Cep 86051-970, Londrina - PR, Brazil



Two native Brazilian orchid especies, Oncidium baueri and Maxillaria picta, were grown in different substrate mixtures. The plants were cultivated in ceramic pots in a greenhouse with 50% of shadind light and watered three times a week. The following substrates were used: 1) de-fibered xaxim; 2)xaxim cubes; 3) vermiculite; 4) carbonized rice husk; 5) charcoal; 6) charcoal + carbonized rice husk; 7) crocks; 8) vermiculite and charcoal; 9) vermiculite + carbonized rice husks; 10) extruded polystyrene + charcoal; 11) pine bark + charcoal + extruded polystyrene; 12) vermiculite + carbonized rice husks + extruded polystyrene + charcoal; 13) pine bark. The substrate ratio was 1:1 in the mixture. NPK 10-10-10 leaf fertilizer was applied every thirty days and castor bean cake and bone powder organic fertilizer were applied every ninety days. A randomized complete block design was used with 10 replications. Growth and rooting were assessed after eight months. The best alternative substrate to O. baueri was vermiculie and the best alternatives substrates to M. picta were vermiculite and charcoal and vermiculite + carbonized rice husks.

Key words: Orchidaceae, Maxillaria picta, Oncidium baueri, growing media

Wednesday, 14 October 2015 15:21

Maxillaria schunkeana

Written by


LIGHT Partial shade
HUMIDTY moderate humidity
WATER Moist/Dry; 2-4 waterings per week (let dry between waterings) 
BLOOM    Blooms summer perhaps into early fall


This Maxillaria's claim to fame is the deep-purple reddish bloom that almost appears as a "true black" flower.  Some claim the flower to be fragrant and others add that a mature thriving specimen can flower all year long.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015 00:40


Written by

Pronunciation: max-ih-LARE-ee-uh

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily: Epidendroideae
  • Tribe: Maxillarieae
  • Subtribe: Maxillariinae
  • Genus: Maxillaria, Ruiz & Pavón 1794
  Maxillaria picta Maxillaria tenuifolia
Tuesday, 13 October 2015 01:34

Ten Things You Need To Know About the Coconut Orchid

Written by

Maxillaria tenuifolia, abbreviated Max. tenuifolia, is a unique orchid that has a strong coconut scent that smells just like a Pina Coloda. According to the American Orchid Society, this orchid has recently been reclassified as Maxillariella tenuifoli.

Here are ten things you need to know about the coconut orchid.

Monday, 12 October 2015 02:27

Maxillaria variabilis var. yellow

Written by

Photo Credit: Santa Barbara Orchid Estate

LIGHT Partial shade
HUMIDTY In summer, water freely amd mist once or twice daily.
WATER Water regularly and keep mix moist but not wet. Plant require semi-dry rest through the winter months
BLOOM Small flowers, can bloom periodically all year long  


Bright yellow variety of this small flowered orchid with a deep red mark on the lip. Intermediate growing. Winter blooming. Species from Central America.

Monday, 12 October 2015 02:26

Maxillaria picta

Written by

Photo Credit: Santa Barbara Orchid Estate

LIGHT   Partial shade
HUMIDTY Moderate humidity is preferred
WATER Moist; 3-5 waterings per week (let dry lightly between waterings)
BLOOM    to    Fragrant blooms from  winter into fall


A charming and compact outdoor-grower from Brazil, which has a sweet and slightly pungent fragrance. The flower's base color is butter-yellow with fine, dark burgundy markings on the flower's reverse. Recently re-classified as Brasiliorchis picta. Temperature Tolerant. April blooming. Species from Central America. 

Monday, 12 October 2015 00:14

Maxillaria - Orchids Wiki

Written by

Maxillaria, abbreviated as Max. in horticultural trade, is a large genus of orchids (family Orchidaceae). This is a diverse genus, with very different morphological forms. Their characteristics can very widely. Several species form a complex. All this gives the impression that the current state of the taxonomy of this genus needs a thorough review.

Page 1 of 2


All information presented here is for educational and informational purposes only under the guidelines of "Fair Use" policies defined by US Copyright law(s).  Some images and select text are protected by respective copyright holders. Material presented here is done so as educational, and "as is".  The Napa Valley Orchid Society, it's executive Board, General members and the web site maintainer cannot be held liable for any damages incurred.

When necessary, images and texts will be fully credited to the original.

Information here may be used by other orchid societies as long as they credit the original creator and at least mention the Napa Valley Orchid Website as a courtesy.