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Brassia spp. (spider orchid)

Brassia spp. (spider orchid)

Brassia spp. (spider orchid)

Brassia is a genus of commonly cultivated orchids that are native to Central and South America. They have flowers with long and spreading tepals which lend them the common name spider orchid.

The resemblance is key to their pollination strategy. Female spider-hunter wasps mistake the flowers for spiders, sting the lip of the flower and try to grasp the ‘prey’ without success. Doing so, they contact the pollinarium, which sticks to its head, then hopefully attacks another Brassia flower and pollinates it.

 

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