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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Orchidaceae
Subfamilia: Epidendroideae
Tribus: Cymbidieae
Subtribus: Oncidiinae
Genus: Brassia
Overview of species (68)

B. allenii – B. andina – B. andreettae – B. angusta – B. angustilabia – B. arachnoidea – B. arcuigera – B. aurantiaca – B. aurorae – B. bennettiorum – B. bidens – B. bowmani – B. brachypus – B. brevis – B. brunnea – B. caudata – B. cauliformis – B. chloroleuca – B. chlorops – B. cochlearis – B. cochleata – B. cyrtopetala – B. diphylla – B. dresslerorum – B. ecuadorensis – B. endresii – B. escobariana – B. euodes – B. farinifera – B. filomenoi – B. forgetiana – B. garayana – B. gireoudiana – B. glumacea – B. glumaceoides – B. horichii – B. huebneri – B. iguapoana – B. incantans – B. jipijapensis – B. keiliana – B. koehlerorum – B. lanceana – B. lehmannii – B. macrostachya – B. maculata – B. mendozae – B. minutiflora – B. neglecta – B. ocanensis – B. panamensis – B. pascoensis – B. peruviana – B. pozoi – B. pumila – B. rhizomatosa – B. rolandoi – B. signata – B. suavissima – B. sulphurea – B. thyrsodes – B. transamazonica – B. verrucosa – B. villosa – B. wageneri – B. warszewiczii – B. whewellii – B. wyllisiana

Brassia R.Br. in W.T.Aiton, Hortus Kew. 5: 215 (1813)

Type species: Brassia maculata R.Br. in W.T.Aiton, Hortus Kew. 5: 215 (1813)


Brachtia Rchb.f., Linnaea 22: 853 (1850)
Mesospinidium Rchb.f., Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 10: 929 (1852)
Ada Lindl., Fol. Orchid. 5: 1 (1853)
Oncodia Lindl., Fol. Orchid. 4: (1853)
Brassiopsis Szlach. & Górniak, Biodivers. Res. Conservation 1-2: 12 (2006)

Native distribution areas:

Northern America
Southeastern U.S.A.
Mexico Central, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Southwest, Mexico Southeast.
Southern America
Central America
Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama.
Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad-Tobago.
Northern South America
French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela.
Western South America
Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru.
Brazil West-Central, Brazil Northeast, Brazil Southeast, Brazil North.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Brown, R. 1813. Hortus Kewensis; or, a Catalogue of the Plants Cultivated in the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew. London (2nd ed.) 5: 215.
Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.W. & Rasmussen, F.N. (eds.) 2014. Genera Orchidacearum Volume 5: Epidendroideae (Part two); page 232 ff., Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-850713-0

Additional references

Chase, M.W. & Whitten, W.M. (2011) Further taxonomic transfers in Oncidiinae (Orchidaceae), Phytotaxa 20: 26–32.


Global Biodiversity Information Facility. 2021. GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset. Taxon: Brassia. Accessed: 2021 Mar 23.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Brassia in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Mar 23. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Brassia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Mar 23. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2021. Brassia. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Mar 23. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Brassia. Published online. Accessed: 23 Mar 2021. 2021. Brassia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Mar 23.

Vernacular names

български: Брасия
日本語: ブラッシア
перем коми: Брассия
коми: Брассия
lietuvių: Brasija
мокшень: Брассия
олык марий: Брассия
кырык мары: Брасси
русский: Брассия
удмурт: Брассия

Brassia is a genus of orchids classified in the subtribe Oncidiinae. It is native to Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and northern South America, with one species (B. caudata) extending into Florida.[1][2]

The genus was named after William Brass, a British botanist and illustrator, who collected plants in Africa under the supervision of Sir Joseph Banks. Its abbreviation in the horticultural trade is Brs.[3]


Brassia species and its popular hybrids are common in cultivation, and are notable for the characteristic long and spreading tepals (in some clones longer than 50 cm), which lend them the common name spider orchid. The grex Eternal Wind is a recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[4]

This epiphytic genus occurs in wet forests from sea level to altitudes under 1500 m, with the Peruvian Andes as its center of diversity. Occurrence is mostly restricted to a certain area, but Brassia caudata can be found over the whole geographic area.

They have large elliptic-oblong pseudobulbs with one or two leaves at the apex, lateral, unbranched many-flowered inflorescences with small floral bracts. The lip is not attached to the column. The pollinarium shows a narrow stipe. There are two distichous, foliaceous sheaths around the base, from which the inflorescence emerges.

Brassia has a very specific method for pollination; it uses entomophily - pollination by insects - and in this case specifically by female spider-hunter wasps of the genera Pepsis and Campsomeris. Mistaken by the mimicry of Brassia, the wasp stings the lip, while trying to grasp its prey without any success. By these movements the wasp comes into contact with the pollinarium, that then sticks to its head. By flying to another Brassia flower, this flower gets pollinated.

List of species

Species accepted as of May 2014:[1]

Brassia allenii L.O.Williams ex C.Schweinf. - Honduras, Panama
Brassia andina (Rchb.f.) M.W.Chase - Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
Brassia andreettae (Dodson) Senghas in F.R.R.Schlechter - Ecuador
Brassia angusta Lindl. - Venezuela, Guyana, northern Brazil
Brassia angustilabia Schltr. - Panama, Brazil (Amazonas)
Brassia arachnoidea Barb.Rodr. - Rio de Janeiro
Brassia arcuigera Rchb.f. - Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru
Brassia aurantiaca (Lindl.) M.W.Chase - Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador
Brassia aurorae D.E.Benn. - Peru
Brassia bennettiorum (Dodson) Senghas in F.R.R.Schlechter - Peru
Brassia bidens Lindl. - Venezuela, Guyana, northern Brazil
Brassia bowmanii (Rchb.f.) M.W.Chase - Colombia
Brassia brachypus Rchb.f. - Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia
Brassia brevis (Kraenzl.) M.W.Chase - Colombia, Ecuador
Brassia brunnea Archila - Guatemala
Brassia caudata (L.) Lindl. - Mexico, Central America, Florida, Greater Antilles, Trinidad, northern South America
Brassia cauliformis C.Schweinf. - Peru
Brassia chloroleuca Barb.Rodr. - Guyana, French Guiana, Brazil
Brassia chlorops Endrés & Rchb.f. - Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama
Brassia cochleata Knowles & Westc. - northern South America
Brassia cyrtopetala Schltr. - Colombia
Brassia diphylla (H.R.Sweet) M.W.Chase - Colombia
Brassia dresslerorum Archila - Guatemala
Brassia ecuadorensis (Garay) M.W.Chase - Ecuador
Brassia endresii (Kraenzl.) ined. (syn Solenidium endresii Kraenzl.) - Central America
Brassia escobariana Garay - Colombia
Brassia euodes Rchb.f. - Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
Brassia farinifera Linden & Rchb.f. - Ecuador
Brassia filomenoi Schltr. - Peru
Brassia forgetiana Sander - Peru, Brazil, Venezuela
Brassia garayana M.W.Chase - Ecuador, Peru
Brassia gireoudiana Rchb.f. & Warsz. - Costa Rica, Panama
Brassia glumacea Lindl. - Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru
Brassia glumaceoides M.W.Chase - Colombia, Venezuela
Brassia horichii (I.Bock) M.W.Chase - Costa Rica, Panama
Brassia huebneri Schltr. - French Guiana, Brazil
Brassia iguapoana Schltr. - Brazil (Amazonas)
Brassia incantans (Rchb.f.) M.W.Chase - Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
Brassia jipijapensis Dodson & N.H.Williams - Ecuador (Manabí)
Brassia keiliana Rchb.f. ex Lindl. - Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana
Brassia koehlerorum Schltr. - Peru
Brassia lanceana Lindl. - Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, northern South America
Brassia macrostachya Lindl. - Venezuela, Guyana
Brassia maculata R.Br. in W.T.Aiton - Mexico, Central America, Cuba, Jamaica
Brassia mendozae (Dodson) Senghas in F.R.R.Schlechter - Ecuador
Brassia minutiflora (Kraenzl.) M.W.Chase - Colombia
Brassia neglecta Rchb.f. - Guyana, Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
Brassia ocanensis Lindl. - Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
Brassia panamensis (Garay) M.W.Chase - Panama
Brassia pascoensis D.E.Benn. & Christenson - Peru
Brassia peruviana Poepp. & Endl. - Peru
Brassia pozoi (Dodson & N.H.Williams) Senghas in F.R.R.Schlechter - Ecuador, Peru
Brassia pumila Lindl. - Guyana, Venezuela, French Guiana, Colombia, Peru, Brazil
Brassia rhizomatosa Garay & Dunst - Venezuela, Peru
Brassia rolandoi (D.E.Benn. & Christenson) M.W.Chase - Peru
Brassia signata Rchb.f - Peru, Bolivia, Oaxaca, Guerrero
Brassia suavissima Pupulin & Bogarín - Costa Rica
Brassia sulphurea (Rchb.f.) M.W.Chase - Venezuela
Brassia thyrsodes Rchb.f. - Bolivia
Brassia transamazonica D.E.Benn. & Christenson - Peru
Brassia verrucosa Bateman ex Lindl. - Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, Brazil
Brassia villosa Lindl. - Guyana, Venezuela, Brazil
Brassia wageneri Rchb.f. - Guyana, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Peru
Brassia warszewiczii Rchb.f. - Ecuador

Intergeneric hybrids

×Aliceara (Brassia × Miltonia × Oncidium)
×Bakerara (Brassia × Miltonia × Odontoglossum × Oncidium)
×Banfieldara (Ada × Brassia × Odontoglossum )
×Brapasia (Aspasia × Brassia)
×Brassada (Ada × Brassia)
×Brassidium (Brassia × Oncidium)
×Brassochilus (Brassia × Leochilus)
×Bratonia (Brassia × Miltonia)
×Crawshayara (Aspasia × Brassia × Miltonia × Oncidium)
×Degarmoara (Brassia × Miltonia × Odontoglossum )
×Derosaara (Aspasia × Brassia × Miltonia × Odontoglossum )
×Duggerara (Ada × Brassia × Miltonia)
×Eliara (Brassia × Oncidium × Rodriguezia)[5]
× Forgetara (Aspasia × Brassia × Miltonia)
×Johnkellyara (Brassia × Leochilus × Oncidium × Rodriguezia)
×Maclellanara (Brassia × Odontoglossum × Oncidium)
×Norwoodara (Brassia × Miltonia × Oncidium × Rodriguezia)
×Odontobrassia (Brassia × Odontoglossum)
×Pettitara (Ada × Brassia × Oncidium)
×Rodrassia (Brassia × Rodriguezia)
×Rohriara (Ada × Aspasia × Brassia)
×Sauledaara (Aspasia × Brassia × Miltonia × Oncidium × Rodriguezia)
×Shiveara (Aspasia × Brassia × Odontoglossum × Oncidium)
×Wingfieldara (Aspasia × Brassia × Odontoglossum)

This list does not include nothogenera based on genera that are synonyms of Oncidium, as for instance Cochlioda. These nothogenera are now synonyms with other nothogenera in this list, or with Brassia (in the case of Brassioda = Brassia × Cochlioda).


Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Flora of North America v 26 p 646, Brassia caudata
"My Huge List of Orchid Abbreviations".
"Brassia Eternal Wind gx". RHS. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
page 20 of Archived 2010-06-16 at the Wayback Machine

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