Sobralia xantholeuca plate
Sobralia xantholeuca plate from Lindenia Iconographie des Orchidées

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Arethuseae
SubTribe: Sobraliinae
Genus: Sobralia
Ruiz & Pav. 1794
Type Species
Sobralia dichotoma

Sobralia is a genus of about 125 orchids (family Orchidaceae) and the only genus of the subtribe Sobraliinae.


It is native to Central and South America. The plants are more commonly terrestrial, but are also found growing epiphytically, in wet forests from 0 to 2680 meters in elevation.


Their reed-like stems range in height from about 1 ft (such as in Sobralia galeottiana) to 25-30 ft. They have typically heavily veined, bilobed, plicate, apical leaves all along the stem. The inflorescenses on the apex of the stem carry one or two successive ephemeral flowers with large sepals and petals. The short duration of the flower is caused by a self-digesting enzyme. The lip is entire or lobed and clasps the column at its base. This columns carries eight soft pollinia. These flowers range in color from pure white to yellow, green, pink, purple, red, brown, and even a blue violet.


Grow in partial to full sun usually in cool to intermediate temperatures. Plants can be grown in sandy soil or bark with perlite. Keep the mix moist but not wet during growing season. Reduce watering after leaves develop. Never let the mix dry out for long periods.


The genus was named for Dr. Francisco Sobral, a Spanish botanist.


  1. Cyathoglottis Poepp. & Endl.
  2. Fregea Rchb.f.
  3. Lindsayella Ames & C.Schweinf.

Species Edit

The type species is Sobralia dichotoma

Natural HybridsEdit


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  • Ortiz, V. P. 2004. - Las especies Colombianas de Sobralia Ruiz & Pav., seccion Sobralia. The Colombian species of Sobralia Ruiz & Pav., section Sobralia. Orquideologia 23(1): 49-65