(pronounced: kom-pah-RET-ee-ah)


Maxillarieae subtribe Oncidiinae

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Caespitose epiphytes. Pseudobulbs slender, subtended by papery bracts, rarely foliaceous. Inflorescences axillary long-pedunculate racemes or panicles, few-flowered to many-flowered, the floral bracts inconspicuous. Flowers showy, usually brilliantly colored. Dorsal sepal and petals free, spreading, the dorsal sepal concavd forming a hood over the column, the lateral sepals fused forming a long, slender spur. Lip three-lobed, fused to the column at the middle of the lip, the midlobe fan-shaped with an apical notch, with a pair of slender auricles at the base nestled in the sepaline spur, with callus. Column stout, without foot or wings; pollinia 2, on a common viscidium and stipe.


Honoring Andreo Comparetti, professor of botany at Padua, Italy.


A genus of seven species, somewhat confused by rather frequent natural hybridization, found throughout the neotropics from Mexico to Bolivia.

Care and Culture Card

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Bock, I. 1986. Revision der Gattung Comparettia Poepp. und Endl., teil 1. Die Orchidee 37:192-196.

Bock, I. 1986. Revision der Gattung Comparettia Poepp. et Endl., teil 2. Die Orchidee 37:199-206.

Bock, I. 1986. Revision der Gattung Comparettia Poepp. et Endl., teil 3. Die Orchidee 37:255-263.

Bourdon, M. 1991. Les Comparettia. L’Orchidoph. 97:101-105.

Jesup, P. 1986. Comparettias in Connecticut. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 55(6):564-569.

Kennedy, G. 1978. The genus Comparettia. Orchid Digest 45(5):188-189.

Meléndez-Ackerman, E. J., J. D. Ackerman, and J. A. Rodríguez-Robles 2000. Reproduction in an orchid can be resource-limited over its lifetime. Biotropica 32(2):282-290.

Ortiz V., P. 1993. A new Comparettia from Colombia. Orquideologia 19(1):14-15.

Salguero-Faría, J. A. and J. D. Ackerman 1999. A nectar reward: Is more better? Biotropica 31(2):303-311.

Sheehan, T. and M. Sheehan 1977. Orchid Genera Illustrated 58: Comparettia. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 46(9):804-805.

Tuskes, P. and A. Tuskes 1999. A review of the genus Comparettia. Orchid Digest 63(4):164-171.