Oncidium Orchids Facts

Oncidium Orchids Facts

The fiery, flame-coloured Oncidium papilo once earned Oncidia the common name of “butterfly” orchid. However, this orchid is no longer considered to be a genuine Oncidium by most botanists, but has now been placed in its own genus Psychopsis, just like its close relative Oncidium kramerianum. This genus, with about a hundred representatives, occurs in the most varied temperature zones and is also found in many forms: with large or small pseudo-bulbs, and with narrow or broad, fleshy or tough, hard leaves. Its inflorescences consist of delicate single flowers.

This graceful orchid genus owes its name to the callus-like, warty appendages at the base of the lip (from Greek: oncos = callus-like mass). The individual flowers are often striped or flecked. The first plant — an Oncidium flexuosum — arrived in Europe from a range of mountains in Brazil in 1818. Today, more than 50 species are available in the trade. It is very important to know the particular temperature range in order to provide the correct conditions. Always remember to ask when purchasing these plants!

Oncidium - Orchids Facts Origin:

subtropical and tropical America, Caribbean.

Temperature range:

temperate, some cool or warm.

Flowering time:

varies, depending on the species.

Colour of flowers:

yellow, brown, but also pink, red and white in various combinations of colours.


bright to semi-shady, no direct sunlight.


during the winter.


warm during the summer, cooling off at night. Temperate Oncidia 15°C/59°F in the daytime during the winter; warmth-loving ones around 20°C/68°F.


keep constantly slightly moist from the beginning of the growth period onwards. Water just enough to prevent the pseudo-bulbs and the leaves from wilting during the winter. Ensure high humidity but be careful with misting during the winter and spring. New foliage will tend to become mouldy rather quickly.


every three weeks during the growth period.


towards the end of the rest period when required, and when roots and new shoots begin to grow.


divide bulbs when repotting. Do not divide up into groups that are too small.


See Essential Orchid Information – Repotting Orchids

Pests, diseases:

these only occur if serious mistakes in care are made.

My tip:

Do not cut off inflorescences of Oncidium kramerianum or Oncidium papilio after flowering. New buds will develop on the same stalks during the following year.


Oncidium species (temperate zone)


O. leucochilum, O. sphacelatum


O. carthagenense, O. concolor, O. flexuosum


O. forbesii, O. ornithorhychnum (scented), O. varicosum


O. tigrinum


Oncidium species (warm zone)


O. papilio, O. kramerianum.


Oncidium hybrids (temperate zone)

“Afternoon Delight”, “Goldrausch”, “Jorge Verboonen”, “Rogersii”, “Rotkappchen”, “Thilo”

Oncidium hybrids (warm zone)

“Golden Cascade”

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


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