(pronounced: sen-troh-GLOS-sah)


Maxillarieae subtribe Ornithocephalinae

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Miniature caespitose epiphytes. Pseudobulbs minute, subtended by 2--3 foliaceous bracts subequal to the leaves. Leaves one, strap-shaped. Inflorescences axillary, few-flowered racemes. Flowers shallowly cupped, greenish-white, rarely yellow. Sepals and petals free, spreading. Lip three-lobed, usually obscurely so, saccate-spurred, sessile. Column straight, without wings or foot, with erect-incurved basal appendages, the rostellum elongate; pollinia 4, in two pairs on an elongate, spatulate common stipe and minute viscidium.


From the Greek kentron, meaning spur, and glossa, meaning tongue, in allusion to the elongate-conic spur characteristic of the genus.


A genus of six species endemic to Brazil. The lips of Centroglossa are very obscurely three-lobed with the exception of C. nunes-limae Pôrto and Brade which has a deeply three-lobed lip.

Care and Culture Card

See basic growing conditions and care information below.


Cogniaux, A. 1904. Centroglossa. In: Martius, C. F. P. (ed.). Flora Brasiliensis 3:188-192.