Oncidium / Odontoglossum Alliance


  • Oncidium species and hybrids
  • Odontoglossum species and hybrids
  • Ada, Brassia, Brassisium, Burrageara, Cochlioda, Colmanara, Galeandra, Gomesa, Miltonia, Miltassia, Miltoniopsis, Odontocidium, Rodriguezia, Vuylstekeara, Wilsonara - species and hybrids


Enjoy browsing the Orchids


Miltonia spectabilis


Alliance: Oncidium
Genus: Miltonia Lindl. (1837)






  • Anneliesia Brieger & Lückel
  • Macrochilus Knowles & Westc.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Miltonia, abbreviated Milt. in the horticultural trade,[1] is an orchid genus formed by nine epiphyte species and eight natural hybrids inhabitants of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, one species reaching the northeast of Argentina and east of Paraguay. This genus was established by John Lindley in 1837, when he described its type species, Miltonia spectabilis. Many species were attributed to Miltonia in the past, however, today, the species from Central America and from cooler areas on northwest of South America have been moved to other genera. Miltonia species have large and long lasting flowers, often in multifloral inflorescences. This fact, allied to being species that are easy to grow and to identify, make them a favorite of orchid collectors all over the world. Species of this genus are extensively used to produce artificial hybrids.

Despite the fact that Miltonia is now a well established genus, most of its species were originally classified under other genera as Cyrtochilum, Oncidium, Odontoglossum, and Brassia. All were discovered between 1834 and 1850 with the exception of M. kayasimae, discovered only in 1976.

These epiphytic orchids occur from Central to Southern Brazil down to Argentina.

These orchids have two leaves, arising from a pseudobulbs, covered with a foliaceous sheath. The inflorescence consists of waxy, nonspurred flowers. The lip is large and flat and lacks a callus at its base. They possess a footless column with two hard pollinia. The flowers have a delicate, exotic scent, some compare to that of roses.

They are named after Charles Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 5th Earl Fitzwilliam, formerly Viscount Milton, an English orchid enthusiast.

The species in this genus are sometimes referred to as the pansy orchids, but it is the Miltoniopsis orchids that have flowers that closely resemble the pansy. Almost everyone except for the most serious orchid hobbyists use the name pansy orchids interchangeably, which may cause confusion.

Miltonia looks more like Oncidiums than the other pansy orchids. The most "pansy-like" a Miltonia can get is the species Miltonia spectabilis. Taxonomists are debating whether to put Miltonia into the Oncidium genus because of the many connections between the two.

Miltoniopsis is the pansy orchid with huge showy flowers. They grow in cooler climates and are more challenging to grow than Miltonia.

This genus forms with Miltoniopsis a hybrid genus xMilmiltonia J.M.H.Shaw.


Odontocidium Wildcat



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Odontocidium, abbreviated as Odcdm. in the horticultural trade, is the intergeneric hybrid of the two orchid generas Odontoglossum and Oncidium (Odm. x Onc.). Many orchids formerly classified as Colmanara have been reclassified as Odontocidium by the American Orchid Society.



  1. http://www.rhs.org.uk/RHSWebsite/files/87/87be8b1e-908e-4e04-9ee6-30c438354458.pdf






Odontoglossum crispum 

Scientific classification

Alliance: Oncidium
Genus: Odontoglossum  B. & K.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Odontoglossum, first named in 1816 by Karl Sigismund Kunth, is a genus of about 100 orchids. The scientific name is derived from the Greek words odon (tooth) and glossa (tongue), referring to the two tooth-like calluses on the base of the lip. This genus of cool to cold growing orchids is to be found on open spots in the humid cloud forest at higher elevations from Central- and West South America to Guyana, with most species around the northern Andes. The abbreviation for this genus is Odm. in the horticultural trade.[1]

Most are sympodial epiphytes, or rarely terrestrials.

The pseudobulbs are compact with leaf-like bracts at the base. They give one to three apical leaves. An arching (and sometimes erect) inflorescence grows from its base. The ruffled sepals and petals of these spectacular flowers are spreading. The lip is rather complex, entire or with three lobes. It stands erect or parallel to the long column. The high altitude species show long inflorescences with up to 150 flowers (as in O. cirrhosum), while the lower altitude species have shorter inflorescences with up to 20 flowers. These flowers may be white, red, purple, brown, yellow, or even be blotched with a showy blend of many colors.

Many of these species are in great demand with orchid lovers because of their spectacular and flamboyant flowers.



This genus used to contain more than 400 species. Many have now been reclassified in other genera such as Amparoa, Aspasia, Cochlioda, Cuitlauzina, Cyrtochilum, Gomesa, Lemboglossum, Mesoglossum, Miltonia, Miltonioides, Oliveriana, Oncidium, Osmoglossum, Otoglossum, Rhynchostele, Rossioglossum and Ticoglossum. This new genera occurred outside the Andes in different climatological habitats.


Click here for a select list of Odontoglossum species. 


Natural hybrids


Click here for a select list of Odontoglossum Natural Hybrids. 


Intergeneric hybrids

Odontoglossum lends itself to the production of many artificial intergeneric hybrids. The hybrids with red pigmentation are nearly all derived from a crossing with the genus Cochlioda and especially with Cochlioda noezliana :


Click here for a select list of Odontoglossum Intergenetic Hybrids. 



External links




Oncidium excavatum




  • Chamaeleorchis Senghas & Lückel in F.R.R.Schlechter
  • Cochlioda Lindl.
  • Collare-stuartense Senghas & Bockemühl
  • Heteranthocidium Szlach., Mytnik & Romowicz
  • Matalbatzia Archila
  • Mexicoa Garay
  • Miltoniastrum (Rchb.f.) Lindl.
  • Miltonioides Brieger & Lückel
  • Odontoglossum Kunth in F.W.H.von Humboldt, A.J.A.Bonpland & C.S.Kunth
  • Petalocentrum Schltr.
  • Roezliella Schltr.
  • Sigmatostalix Rchb.f.
  • Solenidiopsis Senghas
  • Symphyglossum Schltr.
  • Xeilyathum Raf.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 


Oncidium, abbreviated as Onc. in the horticultural trade,[2] is a genus that contains about 330 species of orchids from the subtribe Oncidiinae of the orchid family (Orchidaceae). As presently conceived (May 2014), it is distributed across much of South America, Central America, Mexico and the West Indies, with one species (O. ensatum) extending into Florida.[1][3] Dancing-lady orchid is a common name for some species in this genus.[4]

In 2008, Oxfords Annals of Botany labeled the Oncidium alliance "grossly polyphyletic."[5] The American Orchid Society labeled this genus a "dumping ground."[6] After DNA testing and much debate, a consensus was announced (April 2013)[7] resulting in major taxonomic changes to Oncidium, Gomesa, Odontoglossum, Miltonia, and others. Much of this debate and subsequent housekeeping was initiated by significant research for the scientific publication Genera Orchidacearum Volume 5.[8] As a result, much of the information in this article is now deprecated, but still of great value. One significant change is the move of most Brazilian Oncidium with a fused lateral sepal to the genus Gomesa.[6][5] The Royal Horticultural Society system, the World Checklist of Monocots database at http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/home.do and the American Orchid Society have already updated their databases to reflect most of these changes.



This genus was first described by Olof Swartz in 1800 with the orchid Oncidium altissimum, which has become the type species. Its name is derived from the Greek word ὀγκος, "onkos", meaning "swelling". This refers to the callus at the lower lip.

Most species in the Oncidium genus are epiphytes, although some are lithophytes or terrestrials. They are widespread from northern Mexico, the Caribbean, and some parts of South Florida to South America. They usually occur in seasonally dry areas.

They can be divided in three categories, according to their growth pattern:

  • Some have green pseudobulbs and long racemes with small flowers and a dominant lip. They are mostly golden yellow with or without reddish-brown barring, but some are brown or yellowish-brown. Other Oncidium species have white and pink blooms, while some even have startling, deep red colors in their flowers.
  • Another group has extremely small pseudobulbs and stiff, erect, solitary leaves. These cylindrical leaves act as a water reserve. They have long racemes with yellow flowers that seem to fan out at the top. Sizes of these orchids can vary from miniature plants of a couple of centimetres to giants with 30 cm-long leaves and racemes of more than one metre long. These species, known as the Mule-Ears, are now classed as Psychopsis.
  • Formerly there was a third group, called the Variegata or equitant oncidiums. They have no pseudobulbs, giving fan-shaped shoots of less than 15 cm, with triangular section leaves. These oval, broad and spongy leaves act as storage organs. Their flowers are most complicated with exquisite colors. The sepals are somewhat fleshy. The petals and the lip are membranaceous. These orchids are now classified as Tolumnia. Cyrtochilum is another genus that many Oncidium species have recently been reclassified into; Cyrtochilum species have extremely long, winding inflorescences that can sometimes reach 20' or more, curled petals that result in three-pointed blooms, and rambling growth habits in which each new pseudobulb appears on top of the old one.

Oncidium species are characterised by the following properties :

  • presence of column wings,
  • presence of a complicated callus on the lip (this can be used to separate the taxa),
  • pseudobulbs with one to three leaves,
  • several basal bracts at the base of the pseudobulbs.

The flowers of the Oncidium genus come in shades of yellow, red, white and pink. The petals are often ruffled on the edges, as is the lip. The lip is enormous, partially blocking the small petals and sepals.

Some Oncidium orchids are very long : Oncidum altissimum and Oncidium baueri can grow to a height of 5 m, while Oncidum sarcodes can reach 3 m.

They are known as 'spray orchids' among some florists. They are very varied and are easily hybridised with Odontoglossum. Together with other closely related genera (Cochlioda, Miltonia, Cuitlauzina, Miltoniopsis, Osmoglossum, Leochilus, Comparettia, Cyrtochilum, Odontoglossum, Tolumnia, Rhynchostele [formerly Lemboglossum], Psychopsis, etc.) they form the Oncidium alliance. Some of the best Oncidium alliance hybrids originate from Oncidium tigrinum and Oncidium incurvum, when crossed with Odontoglossums, although hybridization possibilities of this group of orchids are endless, and there are literally hundreds of thousands of excellent hybrids in the Oncidium alliance.


Selected species

Click here for a select list of Oncidium species.





All information presented here is for educational and informational purposes only under the guidelines of "Fair Use" policies defined by US Copyright law(s).  Some images and select text are protected by respective copyright holders. Material presented here is done so as educational, and "as is".  The Napa Valley Orchid Society, it's executive Board, General members and the web site maintainer cannot be held liable for any damages incurred.

When necessary, images and texts will be fully credited to the original.

Information here may be used by other orchid societies as long as they credit the original creator and at least mention the Napa Valley Orchid Website as a courtesy.