Pleurothallis schiedei

Pleurothallis schiedei

Pleurothallis marthae

Pleurothallis marthae

Pronunciation: plu-roe-THALL-lis

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily: Epidendroideae
  • Tribe: Epidendreae
  • Subtribe: Pleurothallidinae
  • Genus: Pleurothallis, R. Brown 1813

General Characteristics

  • terrestrial or epiphytic
  • all have two pollinia
  • reduced pseudobulbs
  • some species have thick succulent leaves

Pleurothallis, abbreviated Pths in horticultural trade, is a genus of orchids commonly named Bonnet Orchids.

This was a huge genus, which used to contain more than 1,200 species – the second largest in the Orchidaceae after Bulbophyllum. In 2004, it decreased by more than half when many species were moved into new genera. It is still the largest genus within the Orchidaceae in the New World with species represented from all parts of subtropic and tropical Americas. Most species are found in the high Andes, and cloud forests of Colombia. They grow in dry or wet, tropical or temperate climates.

As a group they show a huge range in vegetative form, terrestrial or epiphytic, and can be found as tall cane-like plants a meter, clumped or trailing, pendent or climbing, erect or creeping, or tufted and tiny, delicate moss-like species that can grow on the thinnest of twigs. For all the variety they have one common denominator: they all have two pollinia.

They have reduced their pseudobulbs and instead, some species have thick succulent leaves.

Their flowers are among the most diverse and unusual, although often very small, and specialize in using tiny insects for pollination.


  • Temperature: Warm, intermediate to cool depending on the species and its native habit. In this group it is critically important to know the identity of the plant you are trying to grow. This is your key to accurate culture.
  • Light: Virtually all species require bright shade to diffuse bright conditions similar to those for Masdevallia.
  • Water & Humidity: All require 40-70% humidity with excellent air movement. All lack pseudobulbs and should not be allowed to dry out completely for any length of time.
  • Fertilizer: Use a dilute, ½ to ¼ strength balanced fertilizer applied about every other week. Flush thoroughly between fertilizer applications to wash away accumulated salts. Plants are intolerant of high salt accumulation.
  • Potting: Potting can be done at any time of the year except during periods of high temperature as these plants grow continuously. They can be mounted if adequate water and humidity are provided or they can be potting in small pots of rapidly draining water-retentive epiphytic mix such as treefern or a fine firbark, perlite, charcoal mix or sphagnum moss. Clay pots can be used if plants can be watered sufficiently.


Welcome to Jardim Therapy my blog about orchids and Brazil. Here you will find a few useful references, and some tip & tricks, along with posting of my own personal experience. I absolutely love orchids, and I want to help everyone interested in learning about these unique plants.

As guests of Jardim Therapy you are welcome to browse the home page, post comments, and access the archives. You can also send me a message if you have any questions.