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For the genus of net-winged insects, see Psychopsis (insect).
Butterfly orchid
Psychopsis papilio.jpg
Psychopsis papilio
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Cymbidieae
Subtribe: Oncidiinae
Genus: Psychopsis
  • Papiliopsis E.Morren ex Cogn. & Marchal
  • Papiliopsis E.Morren
  • Psychopsiella Lückel & Braem

Psychopsis, abbreviated Psychp in horticultural trade, is a genus of 5 known species of orchids native to northern South America, Central America and Trinidad.[1][2] It was formerly included in the massively paraphyletic "wastebin genus" Oncidium. The genus as a whole is commonly called butterfly orchids, but some species of other orchid genera are also called thus.

Psychopsis very often grows on the trunks and branches of trees. The flowers look like large butterflies with brightly colored bodies (the lip, a modified petal), very long antennae-like petals, and outspread wing-like dappled yellow and brown sepals.

The butterfly orchid is rumored to have started the European "Orchidmania" of the 19th century.

Species currently accepted as of June 2014:[1]

  1. Psychopsis krameriana (Rchb.f.) H.G.Jones - Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Suriname
  2. Psychopsis limminghei (E.Morren ex Lindl.) M.W.Chase - Brazil, Venezuela
  3. Psychopsis papilio (Lindl.) H.G.Jones - Panama, Trinidad, Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil
  4. Psychopsis sanderae (Rolfe) Lückel & Braem - Peru, Brazil
  5. Psychopsis versteegiana (Pulle) Lückel & Braem - Suriname, Ecuador


  1. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.C. & Rasmussen, F.N. (2009). Epidendroideae (Part two). Genera Orchidacearum 5: 1-585. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.

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