Barkeria, Brassavola, Broughtonia

The orchid genus Barkeria is closely related to the genus Epidendrum and was once included in the same grouping. There are 10 to 15 species of small or medium sized plants. Most are epiphytes but some are rupicolous (grow on rocks).

For best results, grow this species on mounts or tree fern plaques and provide good air circulation. Fertilize heavily during the growing season and not at all during the dormant period. Provide bright light (Cattleya light) and high humidity. The plants have thick roots and slender canes. Leaves are long and narrow and drop during the cool season. During their deciduous period, they need a dry rest. Begin watering at the first sign of new growth in the spring.

While related to Cattleya orchids, this genus bears little resemblance to it corsage orchid cousins. Many people enjoy growing and collecting this genus for the large clusters of miniature Cattleya-type flowers that are produced on graceful terminal stems.

Barkeria Species Orchids


The orchid genus Brassavola is closely related to the genus Cattleya and is frequently used in Cattleya hybrids (the B in BLC.). There are 18 species of small or medium sized plants epiphytic plants. The genus has white or cream-colored flowers and most are heavily fragrant at night. Each flower exudes a pleasant citrus scent. In the wild, they are pollinated by moths. Each pencil-like pseudobulb is topped with one long, fleshy leaf. Flowers are relatively large for the size of the plant. Petals and sepals and elongated and the lip is wider and flaring.

The genus was named for an Italian doctor by the name of A. M. Brassavole.

Brassavola Species Orchids


There are only two (2) species of this genus. Both are found growing wild in the West Indies. The plants are small with tightly packed oval pseudobulbs. Two stiff leaves grow from the top of each bulb. The flower spike grows from the top of the pseudobulb and the flowers open one after the other for an extended period of time (often several months). The plants prefer warm growing temperatures and bright light (brighter than Cattleyas). For best results, grow these plants mounted on tree branches or cork mounts and provide high humidity and good air circulation. Broughtonias are susceptible to scale insect attack and should be observed frequently so that remedial action can be taken at the first sign of infestation.

They are used in breeding with Cattleyas to create Cattletonia hybrids.

Broughtonia Species Orchids