Monday, May 17, 2010

Lycaste aromatica

Lycaste aromatica - Flower photo by Richard LindbergIf you have one Lycaste aromatica, you will soon have two. And it is an easy, high success rate backbulb to grow. With the yellow fragrant flowers and the pretty leaves, when it is in bloom it is a great plant.

The genus Lycaste (Lyc) contains 52 species of epiphytes, lithophytes and terrestrials growing throughout the West Indies, Central America, Peru and Bolivia. Lycaste aromatica grows in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras with a scent of cinnamon. It is cool to warm growing along rivers in oak forests.

Lycaste aromatica backbulb develops into a blooming plantLycaste aromatica backbulb develops into a blooming plantI have four of these, all divisions of one plant. This particular one was once a single backbulb, now it has three flowers. Usually the plant will have six, but backbulbs take some time to rebuild, so three is fine for this year.

While it is developing in the spring it is very nice. The rest of the time, at least in the greenhouse, not so much. The leaves take up a lot of horizontal space and are very prone to damage. Then they lose the leaves and spend the winter looking as if they are dying.


  1. How many pseudobulbs needs Lycaste aromatica to achieve blooming-size? Greetings from Argentina. Ivan.

  2. Generally the rule is three. Often a division of two with a new growth that will become the third will bloom.

    Since Lycaste aromatica blooms before the new growth develops, it needs to have three during the winter dormant period.

  3. During the winter dormant period, do you keep it almost completely dry, as the AOS culture sheet says?

  4. I keep them pretty dry but not completely.