Trichocentrum albococcineum plate
Trichocentrum albococcineum from
Illustrations of Orchidaceous Plants

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Cymbidieae
SubTribe: Oncidiinae
Genus: Trichocentrum
Poepp. & Endl. 1836
Type Species
Trichocentrum pulchrum

Trichocentrum, often abbreviated Trctm in horticulture, is a genus in the orchid family, Orchidaceae. It was described by Stephan Ladislaus Endlicher and Eduard Friedrich Poeppig in 1836; the type species is Trichocentrum pulchrum.


The genus is distributed in damp forests from Mexico to South America, but mostly in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru as well as southern Central America.


The pseudobulbs are reduced. The obtuse, fleshy leaves are 9 cm long. They are broadly elliptic to ovate-lanceolate.

The large, showy flowers grow basally on a short peduncle in a single-flowered to few-flowered raceme. They are white, or white covered with maroon dots. The petals and sepals are similar.

The long lip carries a short spur. This feature distinguishes the genus from other Oncidiinae, in which the spur is an extension of the column. The short column has a pair of apical wings on the stigma. The anther often bears minute papillae. There are two waxy pollinia, connected to elongate stipes.


Grow plants in cool to intermediate temperatures in partial shade to bright light. Water plant when mix drys. During the winter give plants a slight dryout between waterings. Water approximately once a week. Pot with medium fir bark.


The genus is named after its hair-like spur


  1. Acoidium Lindley 1837


There is disagreement as to the taxonomic status of some species that have recently been moved from Oncidium to Trichocentrum. Morphological characteristics of "typical" trichocentrums, such as being relatively small and squat with a short, few-to-several flowered inflorescence, contrasts sharply with the larger, heavier oncidiums with long, "mule-ear" leaves and showy, branched inflorescence with many flowers, or the "rat-tail" species with terete leaves.

While studies of molecular phylogeny has caused substantial re-classifications [1], it is uncertain whether this new scheme will be widely adopted. Like with many plants, hybrid isation might heavily confound cladistic analyses, though the exact extent is unknown. Hybridisation of Trichocentrum with Oncidium has resulted in the hybrid genus ×Trichocidium for example, and similar events in the past would result in unrealistic assessments of relationship based on molecular phylogenetic studies with too limited a scope.

Species Edit

Natural HybridsEdit


  1. Williams et al. (2001)

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