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.
Plants are found from Mexico through tropical America
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.
Plants are usually grown in medium light with cool to warm temperatures. Use a mix of 75% fine fir bark with 25% perlite or use full sphagnum moss. Water regularly. Watering should be done when potting mix just begins to dry. Plants prefer high humidity. They need a two to three week dry rest in the late winter. Resume water and fertilizer when new growth appears.
The plant is named after the daughter of Priamos king of the Trojans
- Lycaste × balliae Rolfe, 1898.
- Lycaste × cobani Oakeley, 2008.
- Lycaste × daniloi Oakeley, 2008.
- Lycaste × donadrianii Tinschert ex Oakeley, 2008.
- Lycaste × groganii E.Cooper, 1931.
- Lycaste × imschootiana L.Linden & Cogn., 1893.
- Lycaste × lucianiana Van Imschoot & Cogn., 1883.
- Lycaste × michelii Oakeley, 1993.
- Lycaste × niesseniae Oakeley, 2007.
- Lycaste × panchita Tinschert ex Oakeley, 2008.
- Lycaste × sandrae Oakeley, 2008.
- Lycaste × smeeana Rchb.f., 1883.
- Well-written web site by Phil Tomlinson on Lycastes and the closely related genus Anguloa; the Lycaste information is based largely on the 1970 monograph by Dr. J. A. Fowlie.
- Search page of Kew's World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Enter a full species name, or a genus name only, to see which taxa are considered accepted, and which are considered botanical synonyms
- Fowlie, J. A., 1970: The Genus Lycaste; privately printed
- Dr. Henry F. Oakeley, 1993 : Lycaste Species: The Essential Guide
- Dr. Henry F. Oakeley, 2008 : Lycaste, Ida and Anguloa: The Essential Guide
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