DANCING LADY ORCHIDS
The Dancing Lady Orchid does not refer to a specific Orchid species rather
the whole Oncidium, Onc for short, Genus in
the Orchidaceae (Orchid) family.
Of the more than 23,000 species of the Orchids found in the world, only about 500-600 species are
in the Oncidium Genus.
The term "Dancing Lady," is in reference to the way the flowers sway in the wind. Dancing Lady is
use mostly on flowers that grow in areas where English is the primary language, such as in Belize, Jamaica
and the State of Florida.The Orchid has family members all over the tropical world from the Islands of the
Pacific to the Island of the Caribbean. However, The Oncidium Genus can only be found in the Western
Hemisphere from Mexico to Brazil and numerous Caribbean Islands.
The color palette of the Oncidiums, will range from the most common colors of bright yellow to
bronze and orange. However, there are some Oncidiums that will come in white with pink and brilliant dark red
Some types of Oncidiums will have hundreds of blooms on a single flower spike, also called a
branch, that can be over 3 feet in length; it is called a branch because they never grow up from the ground.
Though the plants can be diverse in color and certain appearances there are four main features that make them
a part of the Oncidium Genus:
Presence of columned wings.
Presence of a complicated callus on the lip.
Pseudobulbs with one to three leaves.
Several bracts at the base of the pseudobulbs.
Oncidiums in the wild are what is referred to as air plants, that is they will never grow
directly on the ground. A wild Oncidium will only grow on rocks, logs and up in the
The Oncidiums also have a natural water storage tank at the base of their flowers which will help
to provide them with the necessary water to survive prolonged rainless periods in the
The Oncidiums seem to be more adaptable to habitats other than their native jungle areas, more so
than other Genus' in the Orchid family. Oncidiums are able to stand slightly cooler and dryer climates,
better than other kinds of orchids thus making them good house plants for people who live farther north than
their native regions. However, in these instances they must have balanced sun light exposure, though too much
sun light will damage their pedals.
Though the orchid family as a whole are not scented flowers they more than make up for it in
their beauty. The intricacy of the many species of orchids is an absolute masterpiece of