You may not like spiders, but you’ll like Spider Orchids. Brassias’ long, delicate petals resemble arachnid legs, and their muted color patterns help complete the effect. (Note that these Spider Orchids are different than the Australian Caladenia orchids with the same common name.)

Brassia flowerBrassia flowersBrassia species close up

Many Brassias are fragrant, and sport large, graceful blooms. The flowers of some varieties reach 16 inches (41 cm) tall, with hues of yellow, brown, purple, maroon, and white. In the wild, Brassias mimic spiders well enough to trick spider-hunting wasps into attacking their flowers. The wasps try to sting the blooms, but help pollinate them instead.

Brassia flowersBrassia flowerBrassia hybrid

Brassias are native to Central and South America, including Florida and parts of the Caribbean. They’re closely related to Oncidiums and Adas, and often crossbred. Many hybrids carry spidery Brassia traits, with hybrid names like Miltassia, Brassidium, Odontobrassia, Beallara, Aliceara, and many more.

Miltassia hybridBrassidium hybridOdontobrassia hybrid

Some Brassia varieties want warm temps, but many are intermediate growers. Often they require ample space for their enormous blooms. Brassias have the same care needs as Cattleyas: bright light, including some full sun, regular water, high humidity, fertilizer, and winter dormancy. As easy growers, there’s no need to be afraid of these spiders.

Brassidium hybridBeallara hybridAliceara hybrid

Explore posts in the same categories: Fertilizing, Fragrant Orchids, Growing, Intermediate Growers, Photos, Warm Growers, Watering

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6 Comments on “Brassia”

  1. orchid59 Says:

    How strange! I’ve never seen an orchid like that. Thanks for the post!

  2. Linda Chaney Says:

    Beautiful flowers!! Thanks for the pics!!

  3. Candace L. Says:

    Hi, spectacular pics, keep up the good work!

  4. Antonia Says:

    Hi, greetings from florida! I love these even though I hate spiders 🙂 Your orchids are spectacular, keep up the good work!

  5. Marc Says:

    Hi Antonia. Thanks for your comment.

    It wasn’t clear that the Brassias in these photos aren’t mine. Many of the orchids pictured in this blog are plants that I grow, but none in this post. These are photos we’ve taken at orchid shows and in our travels.

  6. Alexander Cho Says:

    Wow, these are fairly fascinating. Thanks for sharing these great pics with us. Fantastic blog!