(pronounced: sye-KOP-siss)


Maxillarieae subtribe Oncidiinae

If you are an AOS Member, access OrchidPro online to browse and search over 100,000 photos of award-winning orchids and more.

If you are not an AOS member, discover the benefits of joining today


Caespitose epiphytes. Pseudobulbs suborbicular, strongly compressed, wrinkled with age. Leaves 1, marbled, shortly petiolate. Inflorescences with elongate scapes, the apex a congested raceme with succesive flowers produced sequentially over great time. Flowers very showy. Sepals strongly dimorphic, the dorsal sepal and petals erect, subsimilar, subparallel, linear, the lateral sepals divergent, broad, falcate, with undulate margins. Lip three-lobed, the midlobe very large, clawed, with undulate margins, the callus basal. Column winged, with variable ornamentation; pollinia 2, on a common stipe and viscidium.


From the Greek psyche, meaning butterfly, and opsis, meaning like, referring to the butterfly-like flowers.


A genus of four species found from Costa Rica to Bolivia and Trinidad.

Care and Culture Card

See basic growing conditions and care information below.


Braem, G. J., C. Baker and M. Baker 1998. The genus Psychopsis. Orchids 67(6):606-619.

Dodson, C. H. 1957. Oncidium papilio and its allies, studies in Oncidium, II. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 26(4):240-244.

Kennedy, G. C. 1977. The section Glanduligera of the genus Oncidium. Orchid Digest 41(4):139-141.

Lecoufle, M. 1994. Les Psychopsis. L’Orchidoph. 111:53-61.

Lückel, E. and G. J. Braem 1982. Psychopsis und Psychopsiella: eine alte und eine neue Gattung der Oncidium-verwandtschaft. Die Orchidee 33:1-7.

Lückel, E., H. Fessel and J. Röth 1999. Neues aus dem Department Systematik. Die Orchidee 50(1):46-47.

Rolando, I. and E. A. Christenson 1993. Peruvian Orchids: The rediscovery of Psychopsis sanderae (Rolfe) Lueckel & Braem and elucidation of Psychopsis versteegianum (Pulle) Luekel & Braem. Orchid Digest 57(3):116-118.