BRASSIA—Spider Orchid (Brass’ia).
Evergreen Orchids which grow wild in Brazil and other warm regions of South, Central and North America. Brassia commemorates William Brass, a botanical collector. It belongs to the Orchid family, Orchidaceae.
Some kinds must be grown in a hothouse having a minimum winter temperature of 60-65 degrees; others thrive better in cooler conditions, in a minimum winter temperature of 50-55 degrees. Repotting becomes necessary every two or three years and should be done in February. The potting compost may consist of osmunda fiber pulled into. pieces or of small pieces of Fir bark. Some kinds —e.g., B. brachiata—which are of spreading growth, do best in teakwood baskets, while flowerpots or flower pans are used for the smaller kinds.
The following are the chief kinds: B. maculata, from Jamaica, bears greenish-yellow flowers, spotted with brown, on stems, 12 to 18 in. long in early summer; it needs a minimum winter temperature of 55 degrees. B. verrucosa is an extremely graceful orchid from Guatemala, with arching spikes, often more than 2 ft. long, bearing in spring and early summer as many as ten flowers; these are green ornamented with dark green warts on the sepals and petals and have a white, green-spotted lip; this orchid needs a minimum winter temperature of 50 degrees. B. brachiata, the most vigorous of all, has the largest flowers: these are green and black and open in summer; it needs the same treatment as B. verrucosa, but must be watered more sparingly in winter. B. elegantula, from Mexico, scarcely 6 in. high, is of tufted growth, has small greenish-brown flowers in summer and needs a minimum winter temperature of 50 degrees.
Brassia longissima, from Costa Rica, has bright orange-yellow flowers, marked with purplish-brown spots, which are borne in summer and early autumn: it must be grown in a hothouse with a minimum winter temperature of 65 degrees. Costa Rica is also the home of B. Gireoudiana, the flower stems of which are 18 to 24 in. long, each bearing seven to eleven flowers in summer, the upper part greenish-yellow, the lower part reddish brown: it must be grown in a hothouse.