Alphabetical Plant Listing

Oncidium (Dancing Lady Orchids)

Dancing Lady Orchids, Butterfly Orchids


Oncidium is an incredibly large and diverse genus of about 300 orchids species distributed throughout tropical and subtropical America. These orchids have been nicknamed the Dancing Lady Orchids because their flowers resemble a small dancer with a colorful skirt.

Oncidiums are usually epiphytic orchids (growing on trees), forming clumps of ovoid to conical pseudobulbs, each with 1-3 mid-green, leathery leaves arising from the tips.

These ravishing orchids usually produce huge sprays of flowers often laden with dozens of individual small to fairly large blooms. They are often in shades of yellow to brown, marked or blotched dark brown. Most species bloom in the fall although modern hybrids flower all year round.

As an added bonus, some species and hybrids are sweetly fragrant.

There is great diversity in this group: some Oncidiums are miniature orchids with spikes 6 in. tall (15 cm) and others can reach 12 ft. in height (360 cm)

Relatively trouble free, these orchids are attractive plants for the home or greenhouse. They are sometimes described as difficult to grow. However, with proper care, it is possible to grow them relatively easily.

Guide Information

Hardiness 9 - 12
Plant Type Orchids
Plant Family Oncidium - Dancing Lady Orchids
Exposure Partial Sun
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy

Saengtong, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 9 - 12
Plant Type Orchids
Plant Family Oncidium - Dancing Lady Orchids
Exposure Partial Sun
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
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