Odontoglossum Orchids

Odontoglossum Orchids

Most of the approximately 100 species are beauties from cool mountain forests where they occur at levels of 1,500 – 3,000 m (4,920 – 9,800 ft) and may even be subject to short periods of frosty temperatures. This orchid genus received its name because of its unusual flower which sometimes sports a toothlike appendage at the base of the lip (Greek: odonto = tooth, glossa = tongue). The pseudo-bulbs are egg-shaped and flat, bear one to three leaves at the tips and form upward-pointing raceme-like inflorescences at their base.

Recommended for the beginner: Odontoglossum grande (more recently renamed Rossioglossum grande), Odontoglossum bictoniense, Odontoglossum pulchellum (smells of lily-of-the-valley), Odontoglossum crispum and its varieties, for example “Star of Columbia”.

Many of these species are used for raising hybrids and multi-generic hybrids because of their attractive inflorescences and their almost legendary ability to adapt.

Odontoglossum Orchids Temperature range:

cool to slightly temperate.

Flowering time:

autumn to spring.

Colour of flowers:

mainly yellow with tiger stripes or spotted, white with pink or red.


bright to semi-shady. East , westor north-facing windows. South-facing window during the winter.


20-24°C/ 68-75°F during summer; 14°C/57°F during winter. Slightly higher for plants that require more temperate conditions.


keep at a constant level of moisture during the growth period. During the winter water only enough to prevent the compost and the bulbs from drying out. Ensure high humidity.


from early to late summer, fortnightly. Fertilizing the leaves will prevent the compost and roots from becoming harmed by salts.


every two to three years during the autumn or in the spring.


See Essential Orchid Information – Repotting Orchids


by cutting off bulbs.

Pests, diseases:

usually only due to very severe mistakes in care. “Concertina” leaves occur if humidity is not high enough.

My tip:

If you have a garden, hang your Odontoglossum in a tree with open foliage from early summer onwards. Do not forget to water it if the weather is hot and dry.

If the summer turns out mainly rainy, however, it is probably better to take the plant indoors again to prevent the compost going mouldy. The plant should be allowed to soak up plenty of sunlight during early autumn. This will encourage flower formation and maturing of the bulbs. From mid-autumn onwards, move the orchid back indoors, for example into a cool conservatory. If there is sufficient light, the plant will form reliable flowerbuds for the following season.


Odontoglossum species


0. cariniferum (slightly temperate), 0. pulchellum, 0. rossii


0. bictoniense (slightly temperate)


0. crispum Rossioglossum species (slightly temperate)


R. grande, R. insleayi, R. williamsianum.


Odontoglossum hybrids

Flowering time all year round:

“Anneliese Rothenberger”, “Burghard Holm”, “Gudrun Hambühren”, “Hans Koch”, “Star of Columbia”


Multigeneric hybrids

Odontioda “Coronation”, Odontioda “Feuerkugel”, Odontonia “Burghard Wedringen”, Odontonia “Lulli Menuett”, Odontonia “Marie Noel”, Odontonia “Polka”, Odontocidium “Tiger Hambühren”, Vuylstekeara “Cambria”, Vuylstekeara “Cambria Lensin’s Favourite”, Vuylstekeara “Cambria Plush”, Vuylstekeara “Edna Stamperland”, Vuylstekeara “Hambühren”, Wilsonara “Hambühren Stern”, Wilsonara “Tigersette Lemforde”

09. December 2010 by admin
Categories: House Plants, Orchids, Orchids, Plants | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Odontoglossum Orchids


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