Encyclia adenocaula print
Encyclia adenocaula plate from
Lindenia Iconographie des Orchidées

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Epidendreae
SubTribe: Laeliinae
Alliance: Cattleya
Genus: Encyclia
Hooker 1828
Type Species
Encyclia viridiflora

Encyclia is a genus of orchids. The abbreviation in the horticultural trade is Encycl.


The epiphytic genus occurs in Florida, Bahamas, West Indies, Mexico and tropical America in forests in lowlands and at altitudes up to 1000 meters. The distribution of the species is more or less evenly spread throughout this area.


The terminal leaves grow from thickened pseudobulbs. The flowers arise from an apical inflorescence. This genus is pollinated by bees and birds. There are normally eight pollinia, but in some subgroups this is reduced to four.


Plants grow in cool to warm conditions and can be grown in medium size fir bark with perlite. Plant prefers drying periods between watering and bright light is recommended. Lengthen drying period a bit in the winter.


Cladistic research has shown that Encyclia sensu stricto is monophyletic. This genus was originally included in Epidendrum until William Jackson Hooker separated it from that genus in 1828.

The genera Euchile, Prosthechea and Dinema were separated from Encyclia, based on a morphological analysis (Higgins, 1997) There are a number of intergeneric hybrids with Encyclia. Most intergeneric hybrids using Encyclia species used the Genus Epidendrum for naming. This has recently changed.


The genus name comes from Greek enkykleomai ("to encircle"), referring to the lateral lobes of the lip which encircle the column.


  1. Sulpitia Raf.
  2. Amphiglottis Salisb. 1812
  3. Anacheilium Hoffmannsegg 1842
  4. Aulizeum Lindley ex Stein 1892
  5. Dinema Lindley 1831
  6. Epicladium Small 1913
  7. Hormidium Lindley ex Heynth. 1841
  8. Microstylis Nutt. 1822
  9. Prosthechea Kn. & Westc. 1838

Species Edit

Natural hybrids Edit


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  • Wesley E. Higgins, Cássio van den Berg, and W. Mark Whittenc - A Combined Molecular Phylogeny of Encyclia (Orchidaceae) and Relationships within Laeliinae; Selbyana Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 165–179.