Ada Lindl. 1854, is a genus of 16 species in the orchid family (Orchidaceae), subfamily Epidendroideae, tribe Cymbidieae, subtribe Oncidiinae, alliance Oncidium.
They are native to Nicaragua down to northern South America, down the Andes to Bolivia. They are warm to cool-growing plants to be found in wet, montane forests at higher elevations, between 650 and 2700 m, but most between 1800 to 2200 m.
These are epiphytic orchids, though a few are lithophytic. The lanceolate leaves are distichous (growing in two ranks) with a length of 20 cm, growing on pseudobulbs with a maximum length of 10 cm. The foliaceous leaf sheaths are well-developed.
The pendent and spectacularly colorful inflorescences do not grow above the leaves. They can produce up to 15 fragrant flowers, blooming from January till April. The color can vary from white to greenish and orange. The perianth is narrow and pointed, with almost similar sepals and petals.. The floral bracts are large and inflated. Plants are very similar to the genus Brassia but differ in having distichous leaves, inflorescence on pseudo bulb, and having a different lip.
The lip is reflexed. It bears a basal callus made up of two plates. It often ends in two tooth-like mounds. Ada uses a "pseudoparasitism" method of attracting parasite pollinators, by mimicking their host.
Plants are cool to warm growing in areas with high humidity. Keep plants in partial shade. Have a well drain mix such as medium fir bark and perlite or tree fern fibers. They are not easy to cultivate, because of their high demands.
The genus is named after Ada sister of Artemeisia, wife of Mausoios
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- Williams, N. H. 1972. A reconsideration of Ada and the glumaceous brassias. Brittonia 24: 93–110.