Bulbophyllum is the largest genus of orchids. There are at least 1,800 species (some say over 2,000) within the Bulbophyllum family, making it the third largest in the plant kingdom after Senecio and Euphorbia. Many of the species are found in Papua New Guinea, where more than 600 species are found.

Due to the size of this genus, it includes a large variety of forms, many of which can in fact be of their own genera. As a whole, Bulbophyllum are sympodial epiphytic orchids. They have pseudobulbs that each carry one fleshy leaf at its apex. The flower of the Bulbophyllum comes out from the base of the pseudobulb. The Bulbophyllum ranges in size from miniature plants to giants whose leaves are a meter long. Until recently, Bulbophyllum have not attracted much attention from orchid growers because many deem their flowers are unattractive. Also, some species produce rather unpleasant smell them it blooms. However, lately there have been increased attention to this genus, particularly varieties with showy flowers that have long, hanging sepals and petals.

Here are some species of Bulbophyllum that are popularly grown:

  • Bulbophyllum blumei
  • Bulbophyllum dearei
  • Bulbophyllum echinolabium
  • Bulbophyllum gusodorfi
  • Bulbophyllum lilacinum
  • Bulbophyllum lobii
  • Bulbophyllum macrobulbum
  • Bulbophyllum medusae
  • Bulbuphyllum vaginatum

Bulbophyllum auratumBulbophyllum auratum
Author: dwittkower (cc-by-sa-2.0)

Bulbophyllum deareiBulbophyllum dearei
Author: Orchi (cc-by-3.0)

Bulbophyllum guttulatumBulbophyllum guttulatum
Author: Dalton Holland Baptista (cc-by-3.0)

Bulbophyllum mastersianumBulbophyllum mastersianum
Author: Orchi (cc-by-3.0)


  • Orchids of Asia, by Teoh Eng Soon
  • The Macdonald Encyclopedia of Orchids
  • Orchid Growing in the Tropics, by the Orchid Society of South East Asia

 Index of 690 Plants in The Flowering Garden

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