(pronounced: krip-tah-RAIN-ah)


Maxillarieae subtribe Cryptarrheninae

If you are an AOS Member, access OrchidPro online to browse and search over 100,000 photos of award-winning orchids and more.

If you are not an AOS member, discover the benefits of joining today


Epiphytes with fan-shaped growths. Pseudobulbs highly reduced or absent. Leaves several to numerous, distichous. Inflorescences lateral racemes, as long or surpassing the leaves, arching to pendent. Flowers numerous, small. Sepals and petals subequal, free, spreading. Lip spreading, three- or four-lobed, clawed with the claw keeled, +/- a terminal apicule. Column short, without wings or foot; pollinia 4, in two pairs on a common linear stipe and minute viscidium.


From the Greek kryptos, meaning hidden, and arrhen, meaning stamen, referring to the hooded clinandrium which covers the anther.


A genus of four species ranging from Mexico to Bolivia and the Caribbean.

Care and Culture Card

See basic growing conditions and care information below.


Christenson, E. A. 1993. Mesoamerican orchid studies V: A synopsis of Cryptarrhena R. Br. Lindleyana 8(3):163-165.