(pronounced: lye-KASS-tee)


Maxillarieae subtribe Lycastinae. Senghas and Lückel divide the genus into two subgenera with the mostly orange-flowered, Mesoamerican species with terminal spines on the pseudobulbs being placed in subgenus Spinosae.

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Caespitose terrestrials, lithophytes or epiphytes. Pseudobulbs prominent, often with spines at the apex, subtended by foliaceous bracts with the blades quickly deciduous. Leaves 2--3, large, plicate, petiolate, often deciduous. Inflorescences basal, solitary scapose flowers, the peduncles short to greatly elongate, the floral bracts often prominent and longer than the pedicel and ovary. Flowers fleshy, usually cupped, often fragrant. Sepals and petals free, spreading. Lip three-lobed, sometimes subsaccate, the lateral lobes erect-incurved, the callus prominent. Column elongate, lightly arching, with a foot, the undersurace frequently pubescent; pollinia 4, in two unequal pairs, on a linear common stipe and viscidium.


A genus of about 50 species distributed from Mexico to Bolivia with one species in the Caribbean.

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Bennett, D. E. and E. A. Christenson 1996. A new Lycaste species from Peru. Orchid Digest 60(1):14-17.

Fowlie, J. A. 1964. A preliminary classification of Lycaste macrophylla. Lasca Leaves 1964:37-45.

Fowlie, J. A. 1970. The genus Lycaste. Day Printing Corp., Pomona, CA.

Kennedy, G. C. 1978. A new Lycaste from Peru: Lycaste mathiasiae. Orchid Digest 42:59-61.

Kennedy, G. C. 1978. A comparative study -- the yellow-flowered lycastes. Orchid Digest 42:204-210.

Lückel, E. 1991. Die Wiederentdeckung der Lycaste mattogrossensis und die Lösung des Falles L. rossiana, mit Anmerkungen zu ihren korrekten namen. Die Orchidee 42(2):55-59.

Oakeley, H. F. 1993. Lycaste species, the essential guide. Vigo Press Ltd., London.

Oakeley, H. F. 1994. Green, brown and hairy Lycastes. Orchid Digest 58(1):19-27.

Ospina H., M. 1988. Una especie nueva de Lycaste (Orchidaceae). Mutisia 71:9-12.

Ryan, A., W. M. Whitten, M. A. T. Johnson and M. W. Chase 2000. A phylogenetic assessment of Lycaste and Anguloa (Orchidaceae: Maxillarieae). Lindleyana 15:33-45.