Encyclia Orchid Species

The genus Encyclia is a widespread and diverse genus of orchids. There are approximately 242 species that are found growing throughout tropical America and the West Indies. All the species grow on tree or shrub branches in the wild. The prefer climates that have distinctive wet and dry seasons. Many species have foliage and growth characteristics similar to Cattleya species. The flower spike grows from the top of the pseudobulb. Some species have strikingly beautiful flowers. Other species have unremarkable or insignificant flowers. The largest flower of any of the Encyclia species is 4 cm.

Some orchid collectors specialize in this genus and it is gaining in popularity. Encyclia orchids are used in breeding with other members of the Cattleya family to form interesting hybrids. The English botanist Hooker first described the type species, Encyclia viridiflora, in 1828.

Many species are easy to grow and can be very rewarding for beginners and expert hobbyists alike. Most grow well when mounted on tree branches, driftwood, cork mounts, tree fern plaques, or potted in fast-draining open growing media (like fir bark). Intermediate growing conditions are generally suitable for most species. Let plants dry between watering. Some require a dry winter rest.

Encyclia Species List


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