Brassavola nodosa (L.) Lindl.

Lady of the Night, Knobby Brassavola

Family: Orchidaceae

Genus: Brassavola

Category: Houseplant

Size: Flowers to 3.5" diameter


Blooms mainly in spring and summer on 8" inflorescences, up to 6 flowers, single leaf. Fragrant, white.


Published in Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. 114 in 1831.

Basionym Epidendrum nodosa L.

Native to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil and the Caribbean.

From Edwards's Bot. Reg. 17: 1465 (1831) This very rare epiphyte has long been known as a native of trees in different parts of the West Indies. The elder Jacquin discovered it in the small island of Baru, off the coast of Carthagena, filling the woods at night with its fragrance; Sloane observed it in Jamaica; and lastly, the plants from which this figure was taken were received from Mexico by Sir John Lubbock, Bart., and by him presented to the Horticultural Society in 1828.

Named after Antonio Musa Brasavolo, a noble Venetian, who was one of the most enlightened Botanists of his day. A worthy pupil of Leonicenus and Manardus, he corrected the errors of Dioscondes and Plmy, in his Examen omnium simplicium Medicamentorum, a work of much reputation in its day, published at Leyden in 1537.

Hybridizing Characteristics: 

Dominant in most respects. Large flowers, summer blooming, clear base colors, cupped, often with spots. Thin pseudobulbs, almost cylindrical, narrow leaves. Blocks the production of red pigments. (Hereditary Influences of the Cattleya Alliance -

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner