Sympodial orchids

Sympodial orchids are orchids with a pattern of growth in which there is a succession of pseudobulbs (swollen stem) growing from the base of the one before. Each pseudobulb only grows for a limited time and then stop. The word sympodial means ‘with conjoined feet’.

Pseudobulbs come in various forms. Sometimes it is sheathed in leaves that it cannot be seen at all. In other cases, it is visible as a bulb or stem, either short or long, smooth or wrinkled, with many leaves or only one. The pseudobulbs are often close together, but in some orchids, they are spaced out along the rhizomes.

In sympodial orchids, the flower spike may form at any point of the pseudobulbs. The roots are formed at the base of each pseudobulbs or along the rhizome. Young plant completes with roots can sometimes be found develop from a bud high up on the parent stem.


A genus comprising 243 species of small to medium-sized orchids with underground tubers.


One of the most popular and easy to grow epiphytic orchids.


A genus of sympodial orchids comprising about 20 species from tropical America.


Epiphytic orchid comprising about 11 species native to subtropical and temperate regions of Central America.

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