Orchid of the Week: Psychopsis krameriana

One of the craziest looking orchids I’ve seen in person is the Psychopsis krameriana, aka Kramer’s Butterfly Orchid:

Psychopsis krameriana
Photo credit: Alex in situ, Flickr

I was just reminded of these orchids the other day while perusing the orchid selection from Silva Orchids at the Union Square Greenmarket. Silva had a couple Psychopsis plants for sale and of course I considered buying one. I managed to restrain myself – hooray!

I first encountered Psychopsis at the NYBGs 2009 Orchid Show. It was one of the more unique-looking orchids on display and I was completely taken with it. At first glance this orchid looks like a butterfly, but when you look closer you find something more sinister:

Psychopsis krameriana at NYBG
Skull face!

As a fan of all things sinister, I immediately fell in love with the Psychopsis. When I discovered the orchid’s name, I became even more enamored of it because I’m all about psychology. And of course I found another Psychopsis to photograph at this year’s Orchid Show:

Psychopsis krameriana at 2010 Orchid Show
2010 Orchid Show Psychopsis

The level of detail on these blooms is just incredible. Psychopsis orchids are part of the Oncidium family, which is known for its delicate yet detailed flowers.

I thought these orchids were so cool that (shameless plug ahead!!) I felt compelled to create Psychopsis Orchid postage stamps for my Zazzle store.  🙂

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  1. These are gorgeous Psycopsis pictures!! I bought a fellow orchid friend a Psycopsis as a wedding gift a few years ago and from what I understand, it has been in almost consistent bloom for years now!

  2. I found a really inexpensive psychopsis orchid through mail order, and it is doing great. Unfortunately it was quite small when it arrived, but it is growing like crazy. I hope that it will bloom within the next couple of years. I hear the blooms are spectacular and quite large; I can’t wait to see them in person.

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