Brassavola nodosa plate
B. nodosa from
A Century of Orchidaceous Plants

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Epidendreae
SubTribe: Laeliinae
Alliance: Cattleya
Genus: Brassavola
Robert Brown 1813
Type Species
Brassavola cucullata

Brassavola is a genus of 20 orchids (family Orchidaceae).


These species are native to the lowlands of Central America and tropical South America. They are epiphytes, and a few are lithophytes. A single, apical and succulent leaf grows on an elongated pseudobulb.


Brassavola species yield anywhere from one, solitary white or greenish white flower, to a raceme of several flowers. The five greenish sepals are narrow and long. The base of the broad fringed lip enfolds partially the column. This column has a pair of falciform ears on each side of the front and contains twelve (sometimes eight) pollinia.

Most Brassavola species are very fragrant at night, attracting their nocturnal pollinators with their citrus scent. The pollinators are most commonly moths.

In 1698 Brassavola nodosa was the first tropical orchid to be brought from the Caribbean island Curaçao to Holland. Thus began the propagation of this orchid and the fascination for orchids in general.


Plant prefer dry outs when pseudobulbs complete growth. Water once the medium has dried out. Fertilize about once every two weeks during growing season. Plant grows in medium to bright light and Intermediate temperatures. Brassavola species and hybrids can be potted in quick drying mediums, or even mounted to cork or epi-web.


The name comes from the Venetian nobleman and physician Antonio Musa Brassavola.


  1. Eudisanthema Neck. ex Post & Kuntze
  2. Lysimnia Raf.
  3. Tulexis Raf.

Species Edit


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