(pronounced: iz-ah-BELL-ee-ah)


Epidendreae subtribe Laeliinae; allied to Reichenbachanthus Barbosa Rodrigues. A natural intergeneric hybrid has been recorded as XIsanitella pabstii Leinig (I. virginalis X Sophronitella violacea).

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Trailing epiphytes with small, alternate pseudobulbs along a prostrate rhizome closely appressed to the substrate, the pseudobulbs concealed behind an intricate series of fibrous brown bracts appearing as an open woven mesh. Leaves solitary, filiform, flexuous. Inflorescences subsessile solitary flowers from the bases of the pseudobulbs. Flowers cupped. Sepals and petals subsimilar, free, spreading. Lip unlobed, subsaccate at base. Column short, straight; pollinia 8.


A monotypic genus endemic to Brazil. A second species, I. pulchella (Kraenzlin) Senghas and Teuscher [invalid name], is best maintained in Neolauchea Kraenzlin.

Care and Culture Card

See basic growing conditions and care information below.


Deane, J. 1998. Isabelia virginalis Barb. Rodrigues. Orchids Austral. 10(3):49.

Dunton, B. and M. A. Johnson 1999. Fascinating and unusual orchid species, Isabelia virginalis. Orchid Digest 63(2):96.