|Brassavola subsp. var.|
These species are native to the lowlands of Central America and tropical South America. They are epiphytes, and a few are lithophytes. A single, apical and succulent leaf grows on an elongated pseudobulb.
The orchid yields a single white or greenish white flower, or a raceme of a few flowers. The three sepals and two lateral petals are greenish, narrow and long. The base of the broad fringed lip enfolds partially the column. This column has a pair of falciform ears on each side of the front and contains twelve (sometimes eight) pollinia.
Most Brassavola orchids are very fragrant, attracting pollinators with their citrusy smell. But they are only fragrant at night, in order to attract the right moth. Longevity of flowers depends on the species and is between five to thirty days.
In 1698 Brassavola nodosa was the first tropical orchid to be brought from the Caribbean island Curaçao to Holland. Thus began the propagation of this orchid and the fascination for orchids in general.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Brassavola (A. M. Brassavola, Venetian botanist). Orchidaceae. About twenty tropical American epiphytes, closely allied to Laelia, and demanding similar treatment.
The fls. are large, solitary or racemose, the sepals and petals narrow and greenish, the lip white: Lvs. thick, solitary. For the cultivator, the treatment of Bras- savola is identical with that of the Mexican laelias. Plenty of sun to mature the young growths, and water when growing, with a somewhat drier atmosphere when resting, will be found to suit them. Suspend on blocks. B. Digbyana, Lindl., is Laelia Digbyana; B. glauca, Lindl., is Laelia glauca.
Pests and diseases
Lady-of-the-night Orchid Brassavola nodosa
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963