Genus: Brassia

Brassia is a species-rich tropical and subtropical New World genus that occurs in Mexico, Central America, the West Indies and northern South America. All Brassia species are epiphytic and vary widely in size (15–70 cm tall). All species are sympodially branched with 1-3 elliptic-oblong elongated pseudobulbs that have 1-2 apical leaves. Inflorescences are lateral and rarely branched with 5-30 flowers that usually extend beyond the leaves. Flowers are resupinate with colors that range from cream, yellow, orange-yellow to greenish-yellow. Sepals and petals are free and similar in shape, but petals are often shorter than the sepals. Sepals and petals are ‘spidery’ and long-curving, usually with dark brown to reddish brown spots concentrated on their basal halves. Flowers have a well-developed pollinarium with a ventral viscidium that is oval-shaped and entire. Flowers have two yellow pollinia and are pollinated by female spider-hunter wasps in the genus Pepsis and Campsomeris.

North American Species in this Genus