Basic Orchid Index and Care



For your benefit, I have added a special feature to this index. Beneath the different orchid names, you will find the phonetic pronunciation in brackets that will make talking about orchids easier and help you on the road to glory. As I too have found myself in those awkward orchid moments where you butcher the articulation of an orchid's name.

Something else to bear in mind, before you rush down to the pretty pictures, is that here and there I might be off with specific species or hybrid counts. As crazy as it sounds, orchids get renamed, reclassified, and discovered every other day. Trying to keep up is like trying to turn back time.

I will, however, try my best to keep us all as updated as possible. Be sure to drop me a mail, with your source referince if you think I'm entirely missing the plot so that I can investigate, and I'll update the site A.S.A.P.

Please note, that like all the other advice that I have given, that the information regarding the specific culture of the listed species is only to be used as a guideline. There are so many variables that might lead to a different approach to your growing exercise. The environment where these orchids originate vs Cape Town vs the Karoo vs Durban or Gauteng likely differs significantly. Well, except if you're from humid Durban, then your environment would potentially suite so many orchids without trying very hard.

It is important to use common sense in your approach. If the orchid likes to be kept damp, but you are in a dry environment, add a little more sphagnum moss or vice versa. Learn about the different medium components and try making your own versions. I usually buy a mix and adapt here and there where/if needed.

Next up, let me explain the "Light Requirements" so that we are on the same page. Light can be measured in different ways, but I have found that many other resources prefer using footcandles and being consistent, I will too. In many ways I find it rather silly as the majority of us don't own light meters nor do (did, after this section) we know how to measure it with the naked eye. Thus I have decided to break it down to a % level.

Direct sunlight has a 10,000 footcandles strength and to put it in perspective Phalaenopsis need around 1,500 footcandles, Cattleyas around 3,500 whereas some Dendrobiums and Cymbidiums need approximately 5,000.

With that explained, the "Light Requirements" section will be a % out of a 100, where 100% would be direct sunlight or 10,000 footcandles. That would result in a Phalaenopsis requiring 15% the strength of direct sunlight, Cattleyas 35% and Cymbidiums 50%. However, this does not mean that some Cattleyas, Cymbidiums or Dendrobiums can't handle direct sunlight; it is merely a guide to the general full-day requirements.

For your convenience, I have added a small table to explain it a little better.

Light level Low Medium High
Foot-candles 0-1500 1501 - 3000 3001 - 5000
Shade netting/cloth (%) 70% - 80%+ 50% - 60% 30% - 40%

Lastly, I have not got all the possible orchid genera listed here. There are, give or take, 763 genera and 28,000+ currently accepted species. Listing them all would be a mammoth task, but I will be adding many new genera with every update. Finding free images that I am willing to use is a task on its own and cashflow is limited when it comes to paid images which limits my progress as well.

Common hybrids like Brassolaeliocattleya Blc., Rhyncholaeliocattleya Rlc. and Oncostele Ons. will be out with the next release as well. Anyway, enjoy these that I have supplied for the time being.


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Angraecum
(an-GRAY-cum)

Abbreviation - Angcm.
Known Species 220+
Known Hybrids N/A

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Ansellia
(an-SELL-ee-uh)

Abbreviation - Aslla.
Known Species 1
Known Hybrids N/A

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Brassavola
(bra-sah-VOH-luh)

Abbreviation - B.
Known Species 20
Known Hybrids N/A

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Brassia
(BRASS–ee-ah)

Abbreviation - Brs.
Known Species 35
Known Hybrids N/A

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Bulbophyllum
(bulb-oh-FILL-um)

Abbreviation - Bulb.
Known Species 2000+
Known Hybrids N/A

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Catasetum
(cat-a-SEE-tum)

Abbreviation - Ctsm.
Known Species 64
Known Hybrids 9

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Cattleya
(CAT-lee-ah)

Abbreviation C.
Known Species 120
Known Hybrids 93

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Coelogyne
(see-LODGE-eh-nee)

Abbreviation - Coel.
Known Species 200+
Known Hybrids N/A

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Cycnoches
(sik-NO-keys)

Abbreviation - Cyc.
Known Species 37
Known Hybrids N/A

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Cymbidium
(sim-BID-ee-um)

Abbreviation - Cym.
Known Species 65
Known Hybrids N/A

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Cypripedium
(sip-rih-PEE-dee-um)

Abbreviation - Cyp.
Known Species 58
Known Hybrids N/A

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Dendrobium
(den-DRO-bee-um)

Abbreviation - Den.
Known Species 1100+
Known Hybrids N/A

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Dracula
(DRA-cu-la)

Abbreviation - Drac.
Known Species 122
Known Hybrids 2

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Encyclia
(en-SIK-lee-ah)

Abbreviation E.
Known Species 147
Known Hybrids N/A

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Epidendrum
(E-pee-DEN-drum)

Abbreviation Epi.
Known Species 1000+
Known Hybrids N/A

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Gomesa
(go-MEZ-ah)

Abbreviation Gom.
Known Species 80+
Known Hybrids N/A

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Gongora
(gon-GOR-a)

Abbreviation Gga.
Known Species 74
Known Hybrids N/A

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Isabelia
(ee-zah-BEL-ee-ah)

Abbreviation I.
Known Species 3
Known Hybrids 1

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Laelia
(lay-LEE-uh)

Abbreviation L.
Known Species 24
Known Hybrids N/A

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Lepanthes
(le-PAN-theez)

Abbreviation Lths.
Known Species 1200+
Known Hybrids N/A

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Ludisia
(loo-DIS-ee-ah)

Abbreviation L.
Known Species 1
Known Hybrids N/A

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Masdevallia
(maz-deh-VAL-ee-uh)

Abbreviation Masd.
Known Species 500+
Known Hybrids N/A

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Maxillaria
(max-ih-LARE-ee-uh)

Abbreviation Max.
Known Species 700+
Known Hybrids N/A

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Mediocalcar
(Mee-dee-oh-CAL-car)

Abbreviation Med.
Known Species 17
Known Hybrids N/A

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Miltonia
(Mil-TONE-ee-ah)

Abbreviation Milt.
Known Species 12
Known Hybrids 8

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Miltoniopsis
(mil-toh-nee-OPP-sis)

Abbreviation Mltnps.
Known Species 5
Known Hybrids N/A

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Mormolyca
(mor-moe-LYE-ka)

Abbreviation Mlca.
Known Species 26
Known Hybrids N/A

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Odontoglossum
(oh-dont-oh-GLOS-um)

Abbreviation Odm.
Known Species 100
Known Hybrids 20

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Oncidium
(on-SID-dee-um)

Abbreviation Onc.
Known Species 360+
Known Hybrids N/A

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Paphiopedilum
(paf-ee-oh-PED-ih-lum )

Abbreviation Paph.
Known Species 80
Known Hybrids 23

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Phalaenopsis
(fail-eh-NOP-sis)

Abbreviation Phal.
Known Species 63
Known Hybrids 10,000+++

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Phragmipedium
(frag-mi-PEE-dee-um)

Abbreviation Phrag.
Known Species 15+
Known Hybrids 4

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Pleione
(plee-OH-nee)

Abbreviation Pln.
Known Species 21
Known Hybrids N/A

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Pleurothallis
(Plu-roe-THALL-lis)

Abbreviation P.
Known Species 1,200+
Known Hybrids N/A

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Prosthechea
(pros-thee-KEY-a)

Abbreviation Psh.
Known Species 100+
Known Hybrids N/A

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Psychopsis
(sye-COP-siss)

Abbreviation Pyp.
Known Species 5
Known Hybrids N/A

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Restrepia
(re-STREP-ee-ah)

Abbreviation Rstp.
Known Species 49
Known Hybrids N/A

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Rhynchostylis
(rink-oh-STY-lis)

Abbreviation Rhy.
Known Species 4
Known Hybrids N/A

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Stanhopea
(stan-HOHP-ee-ah)

Abbreviation Stan.
Known Species 55
Known Hybrids 6

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Stenoglottis
(sten-oh-GLOT-iss)

Abbreviation Sngl.
Known Species 8
Known Hybrids N/A

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Tolumnia
(tuh-LUM-nee-ah)

Abbreviation Tol.
Known Species 28
Known Hybrids N/A

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Vanda
(VAN-duh)

Abbreviation V.
Known Species 85+
Known Hybrids 72

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Vanilla
(va-NIL-luh)

Abbreviation Vl.
Known Species 50+
Known Hybrids 72

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Zygopetalum
(zy-go-PET-a-lum)

Abbreviation Z.
Known Species 14
Known Hybrids N/A