(pronounced: LAY-lee-ah)


Epidendreae subtribe Laeliinae. Withner (1990) divides the genus into four subgenera. Subgenus Laelia with two sections includes all eight species from Mesoamerica. Subgenus Crispae with four sections comprises 16 species native to Brazil. Subgenus Microl

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Caespitose epiphytes and lithophytes. Pseudobulbs cylindric to ovoid, smooth or prominently ridged. Leaves one to several, terminal, leathery to stiffly rigid. Inflorescences terminal scapose racemes, often long-pedunculate. Flowers showy. Sepals and petals free, spreading, subsimilar or with the petals wider with undulate margins. Lip obscurely to distinctly three-lobed, the base usually tubular, the callus of longitudinal keels. Column lightly arching, +/- club-shaped, usually without wings, without foot; pollinia 8, in four pairs with four +/- adhesive caudicles.


Probably derived from Laelia, one of the Vestal Virgins.


A genus of about 70 species ranging from Mexico to Brazil. The genus is treated here in a broad sense in keeping with traditional horticultural usage. However, recent molecular work indicates that South American species of Laelia may not be closely relate

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Bicalho, H. D. 1976. Comentários e uma novidade para a secção Hadrolaelia (Orchidaceae). Bradea 2(17):107-110.

Blanke, C. 1997. Laelia purpurata in Brasilien. Die Orchidee 48(3):87-94.

Blumenschein, A. 1960. Tres novas especies de Laelia Lindl. Univ. Sao Paulo, Inst. Genet. 1:33-44.

Blumenschein, A. 1960. Estudos sobre a evolucao no subgenero Cyrtolaelia (Orchidaceae) Tese Inst. Genetica E.S.A.L. Qu. Univ. S. Paulo.

Chiron, G. 1998. Les Laelia mexicains. Orchid. Cult. & Protect. 34(2):19-24.

Diekmann, R. and L. Zschenker 1989. Laelia purpurata -- die wandelbare Königen (teil 2). Die Orchidee 40:122-130.

Dungs, F. and G. F. J. Pabst 1968. Die Verbreitung der Gattungen Cattleya und Laelia in Brasilien. Die Orchidee 19(4):181-190.

Duveen, D. I. 1984. Some observations concerning the naming of section Parviflorae Lindl. of the genus Laelia Lindl. Orchid Digest 48:11-12.

Duveen, D. I. and J. A. Fowlie 1984. Observations on the section Parviflorae Lindl. of the genus Laelia. Orchid Digest 48:22.

Fowlie, J. A. 1973. Three confused Laelia species from Brazil and their known varieties. Orchid Digest 37(2):63-71.

Fowlie, J. A. 1988. A new and spectacularly flowered rupicolous Laelia from Brazil, Laelia duveenii Fowl., sp. nov. Orchid Digest 52:180-182.

Fowlie, J. A. 1989. In Brazil: part XXXVI: the reappearance of Laelia alaorii in the coastal mountains of south central Bahia. Orchid Digest 53:59-62.

Gonzalez, R. T. and E. Hagsater 1984. Laelia bancalarii, una nueva especie del occidente de Mexico. Orquidea(Mex.) 9(2):365-370.

Halbinger, F. 1993. Dos nuevas formas de Laelia: Laelia rubescens f. peduncularis y L. autumnalis f. atrorubens. Orquidea (Mex.) 13(1-2):294.

Halbinger, F. and M. Soto 1997. Laelias of Mexico. Orquidea (Mex.) 15:1-160.

Hoehne, F. C. 1952. Algo concernente ao genero Laelia Lindl., das Orchidaceas e uma nove especie para ele do Estado de Minas Gerais. Arq. Bot. Edo. Sao Paulo, n. s., 2:157-167.

Hoehne, F. C. 1953. Algo concernente ao genero Laelia Lindl., das Orchidaceas e uma nove especie para ele do Estado de Minas Gerais. Orquidea 15:50-66.

Hoehne, F. C. 1953. The subdivision of the genus Laelia. Orchid J. 2:249-250.

Horich, C. K. 1987. Blumen des Sternenberges: Laelia anceps und ihre albinos. Die Orchidee 38:129-134.

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Löb, U. 1990. The genus Laelia in Mexico. Schlechteriana 1:9-15.

Krackowizer, F. J. 1950. Monografia da Laelia purpurata, suas variedades e seus híbridos, Rev. Círculo Paulista Orquidófilos 1:1967.

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Navarro, A., F. Halbinger and G. Salazar 1990. Laelia aurea, nueva especie del noroeste de Mexico. Orquidea(Mex.) 12:41-46.

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Pabst, G. F. J. 1978. Die Gattung Laelia, IV. Die sektion Parviflorae. Die Orchidee 29:156-165, 196-200.

Pabst, G. F. J. 1984. The section Parviflorae Lindl. of the genus Laelia. Orchid Digest 48:13-21.

Pabst, G. F. J. and F. Dungs 1975. Die Gattung Laelia, III-IV. Die sektionen Hadrolaelia und Microlaelia. Die Orchidee 26:157-162.

Pabst, G. F. J. and K. Senghas 1975. Eine neue Laelia der sektion Parviflorae Lindl. aus Bahia. Die Orchidee 26:253-255.

Schlechter, R. 1917. Die einleitung der Gattung Laelia und die Geographische Verbreitung ihren Grupen. Orchis 6:87-96.

Soto Arenas, M. A. 1993. Clasificacíon infraespecifica de Laelia anceps. Orquidea (Mex.) 13(1-2):125-144.

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