(pronounced: en-SIK-lee-ah)


Epidendreae subtribe Laeliinae

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Caespitose or trailing-creeping epiphytes, lithophtes, and terrestrial. Pseudobulbs subglobose to cylindric, fibrous, subtended by several papery bracts. Leaves 1--3, elongate, linear to narrowly oblong-elliptic, very leathery, green or green suffused with purple. Inflorescences terminal pedunculate racemes or more commonly panicles, usually far surpassing the leaves, the floral bracts papery, inconspicuous. Flowers commonly green to brown, usually pleasantly fragrant, long-lasting. Sepals and petals subsimilar, subequal, free, spreading, often clawed, the petals frequently spatulate. Lip three-lobed, partially fused to the column base, the lateral lobes usually erect with recurved apices, the midlobe +/- clawed, usually broad, the callus longitudinal parallel ridges. Column semiterete, usually winged, without foot; pollinia 4, on slender caudicles.


From the Greek enkyklein, meaning to encircle, referring to the clasping lip base.


A genus in the broad sense of about 150 species distributed throughout the Neotropics. Encyclia has a complicated taxonomic history. Although the genus was proposed in the earliest days of orchid taxonomy by Sir William Hooker, the first Director of the R

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Adams, B. R. and P. J. Cribb 1985. A new species and new records of Orchidaceae for Belize. Kew Bull. 40(3):637-642.

Aquirre-Olavarieta, J. 1987. Encyclia papillosa, una especie mal-interpretada. Orquidea (Mex.) 10:385-393.

Bicalho, H. D. 1972. Algumas consideracoes e uma especie nova para o genero Hormidium Lindl. (Orchidaceae) no Brasil. Bol. Soc. Campineira Orquideas 2(4):24-27.

Carnevali, G. 1984. New combinations in Encyclia. Phytologia 55(5):288.

Carnevali, G. and I. Ramirez 1986. Notas orquideologicas, 1. Nuevas combinaciones en Encyclia Hook. Ernestia 36:9.

Christenson, E. A. 1996. Mesoamerican orchid studies VI: a name change for Encyclia lancifolia. Lindleyana 11(4):222.

Dressler, R. L. 1961. A reconsideration of Encyclia (Orchidaceae). Brittonia 13:253-266.

Dressler, R. L. 1969. Una Encyclia nueva de Panama. Orquideologia 4:91-##.

Dressler, R. L. 1971. El complejo de Encyclia fragrans en los paises andinos. Orquideologia 6:195-203.

Dressler, R. L. and G. E. Pollard 1974. The genus Encyclia in Mexico. Asoc. Mexicana de Orquideologia, Mexico, D. F., Mexico.

Fowlie, J. A. 1990, A new species of showy Encyclia from northeastern Brazil, Encyclia hollandiae Fowl. Orchid Digest 54:156-158.

Fowlie, J. A. 1991. A new Encyclia from the floodplains of Una (Bahia), Encyclia unaensis Fowl. Orchid Digest 55(1):26-27.

Fowlie, J. A. 1991. An inconspicuously flowered new species of Encyclia from Paraguay, Encyclia microxanthina Fowl., sp. nov. Orchid Digest 55(2):90-91.

Fowlie, J. A. 1991. Encyclia goyazensis L. C. Men., sp. nov. et Encyclia schmidtii L. C. Men., sp. nov. Orchid Digest 55(2):92-94.

Fowlie, J. A. 1991. Another flabelliform Encyclia species, new from Espirito Santo. Orchid Digest 55(4):156-157.

Hagsater, E. 1984. Encyclia semiaptera Hagsater, nom. nov. otra especie mal interpretada y su pariente E. linkiana (Klotzsch) Schlechter. Orquidea (Mex.) 9(2):231-242.

Hagsater, E. 1993. New combinations in Encyclia and Epidendrum. Orquidea (Mex.) 13(1-2):215-218.

Hagsater, E. and F. R. Stermitz 1983. Encyclia oestlundii, otra especie confundida de Mexico. Orquidea (Mex.) 9(1):105-109.

Hoehne, F. C. 1952. Lista preliminar das espécies do genero Encyclia Hooker para contrôle. Arch. Bot. Est. Sao Paulo, n. s., 2:147-156 (reprinted in Orquidea 16:4-24. 1954).

Janzen, D. H., P. DeVries, D. E. Gladstone, M. L. Higgins and T. M. Lewinsohn 1980. Self- and cross-pollination of Encyclia cordigera (Orchidaceae) in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. Biotropica 12:72-74.

Larson, R. J. 1992. Population dynamics of Encyclia tampensis in Florida. Selbyana 13:50-56.

Menezes, L. C. 1991. A spectacularly lime-green colored new species of Encyclia from Rondonia, Brazil: Encyclia viridiflava L. C. Men., sp. nov. Orchid Digest 55(1):20-22.

Menezes, L. C. 1991. A large and showy new species from northern Espirito Santo, Encyclia espiritusanctensis L. C. Men. Orchid Digest 55:23.

Menezes, L. C. 1991. Two new Encyclia species from the planalto of Brazil, Encyclia gonzalezii L. C. Men. et E. lutzenbergii L. C. Men. Orchid Digest 55:24-26.

Menezes, L. C. 1991. A long-confused new species of Encyclia from Espirito Santo, Brazil, Encyclia confusa L. C. Men., sp. nov. Orchid Digest 55(3):132-133.

Menezes, L. C. 1992. A Brazilian Amazonian Encyclia new species from Caximbo Hill, Encyclia caximboensis, L. C. Men. Orchid Digest 56(1):10.

Menezes, L. C. 1992. Variations in Encyclia lutzenbergerii L. C. Men. and its affinity with Encyclia osmantha (Barb. Rodr.) Porto & Brade. Orchid Digest 56(1):20-21.

Pabst, G. F. J. 1979. Noticias orquiologicas, XIX. Encyclia sessiliflora. Bradea 5:34.

Rosillo, S. V. and J. A. Olavarrieta 1986. Encyclia rhombilabia, une nueva especie de Mexico. Orquidea (Mex.) 10:143-151.

Sauleda, R. P. and R. M. Adams 1978. A new species of Encyclia Hook. (Orchidaceae) from the Caicos Islands, British West Indies. Selbyana 2:340-342.

Sauleda, R. P. and R. M. Adams 1979. Encyclia inaguensis Nash ex Britton and Millspaugh, a rare orchid from the Bahama Islands and the Caicos group. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 48(3):257-260.

Sauleda, R. P. and R.M. Adams 1983. The genus Encyclia Hook. (Orchidaceae) in the Bahama Archipelago. Rhodora 85:127-174.

Withner, C. L. 1970-1971. Bulbous Epidendrum in Mexico and Central America. Orchid Digest 34:13-17, 51-54, 81-84, 117-120, 143-146, 181-184, 251-254, 281-284, 305-308, 35:15-18.

Withner, C. L. 1970. Die kleistogamen Epidendrum-Arten der sektion Encyclia. Die Orchidee 21(1):4-7.

Withner, C. L. 1973. A new Epidendrum of the Encyclia section from Mexico, E. kennedyi, sp. nov. Orchid Digest 37:43-45.

Withner, C. L. 1997. An old problem resolved: Encyclia virens from Mexico and Guatemala. Orchid Digest 61(4):156-158.

Withner, C. L. 1998. The cattleyas and their relatives, volume V.

Brassavola, Encyclia, and other genera of México and Central America. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Withner, C. L. 2000. The cattleyas and their relatives, volume VI.

The South American Encyclia species. Timber Press, Portland, OR.