(pronounced: KRAN-eh-kiss)


Cranichideae subtribe Cranichidinae. Recently Gonzalez Tamayo has argued to divide the genus and reëstablish the genus Ocampoa for C. mexicana and its allies.

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Terrestrials arising from fasciculate, somewhat fleshy roots. Leaves rosulate, few, usually long-petiolate, frequently of varying sizes in each rosette. Inflorescences terminal erect long-pedunculate racemes, the floral bracts minute. Flowers not resupinate, minute. Sepals and petals free, dissimilar, the sepals usually reflexed, the petals often ciliate. Lip unlobed, sessile, often subsaccate, warty or conspicuous branched veins. Column short, stout, without a foot, the rostellum blunt to needle-like; pollinia 4, club-shapped, sessile on a minute viscidium.


From the Greek kranos, meaning helmet, referring to the subsaccate lip which forms a helmet-like cover over the column.


A genus of at least 60 species found throughout the Neotropics from the U.S.A. (Florida) to Bolivia.

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Ackerman, J. D. 1989. Prescotia and Cranichis of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Lindleyana 4:42-47.

Gonzalez Tamayo, R. 1995. Postliminium du genre Ocampoa (Orchidaceae). L’Orchidoph. 119:169-175.

Schweinfurth, C. 1952. An unusual Cranichis from South America. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 21(3):268-269.

Senghas, K. 1989. Die Gattung Cranichis, mit einer neuen Art, Cranichis pilosissima, aus Ekuador. Die Orchidee 40:44-51.