(pronounced: ner-VILL-ee-ah)



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Diminutive terrestrials arising from a tuber. Leaves one, plicate, petiolate, ovate to heart-shaped, sometimes lobed. Inflorescences erect, scapose racemes or solitary flowers, appearing before the emergence of the leaf. Flowers cupped to wide-spreading. Sepals and petals free, spreading, subsimilar, subequal. Lip unlobed to three-lobed, ornamented with keels and trichomes, +/- a spur. Column elongate, curved; pollinia 2, sectile.


A genus of 65 species found throughout the old world tropics from Africa to the islands of the Pacific Ocean.

Care and Culture Card

See basic growing conditions and care information below.


Gray, B. and D. L. Jones 1985. Miscellaneous notes on the orchids of North-eastern Queensland, 2. Corybas neocaledonicus, Nervilia crociformis, two new orchids recorded. Orchadian 8(5):108-111.

Hallé, N. and J. Toilliez 1971. Le genre Nervilia (Orchidaceae) en Côte d’Ivoire. Adansonia, sér. 2, 11(3):443-461.

Jumelle, H. and H. Perrier de la Bâthie 1912. Les Nervilia et les Bulbophyllum du Nord-Ouest de Madagascar. Ann. Fac. Sci. Marseille 21: 187-216.

Malhotra, C. L. 1969(1971). Nervilia crispata (Bl.) Schltr., a new record for the upper gangetic plain. Bull. Bot. Surv. India 11(1-2):208.

Pettersson, B. 1989. Pollination in the African species of Nervilia (Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 4(1):33-41.

Pettersson, B. 1990. Studies in the genus Nervilia (Orchidaceae) in Africa. Nordic J. Bot. 9:487-497.

Rinehart, A. F. and F. R. Fosberg 1991. Nervilia jacksoniae nov. sp., a new species of Orchidaceae from Guam and Rota. Micronesica 24(1):81-85.

Santapau, H. and Z. Kapadia 1961. Critical notes on the Orchidaceae of Bombay State, VI. Nervilia Gaud. and Malaxis Sw. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 58(2):332-350.

Senghas, K. 1964. Nervilia bathiei, eine neue Orchidee aus Madagascar. Die Orchidee 15:217-222.

Senghas, K. 1965. Nervilia bathiei, eine neue Orchidee aus Madagascar. Die Orchidee 16:68-69.

Williamson, G. 1983. Studies in Orchidaceae from southern Africa. J. S. African Bot. 49(4):445-449.