Delfina de Araujo
The Brazilian species of Oncidium and their natural and artificail hybrids
The use of Brazilian species of Oncidium in interspecific hybrids produces good results even when is done between different sections. Three sections are most used: Crispa, Synsepala and Concoloria.
The section Crispa is a natural choice for producing hybrids mainly because its progeny is very floriferous (some of them with more than fifty flowers). In most of the Oncidium species, the lip is the most outstanding part of the flower, however in this section not only the lip, but also petals and sepals are outstanding and wide, and these characteristics are transmitted to the progeny. The high number of natural hybrids in this section (8 in total, besides those which have never been described) shows its high capacity of hybridization, especially when concerning Oncidium crispum.
The hybridization between the genus Brassia and the species of the section Crispa can be considered successfully, producing very showy hybrids with blotches that spread over the segments in a very attractive way. The Brassia injects heat tolerance, which is perfect to our subtropical climate. Oncidium loses its beautiful shape, on the other hand it makes the Brassia segments shorter, rounder and increases the number of flowers per spike.
The section Synsepala competes with the section Crispa for the preference of being used in hybridization, and the desired characteristic is the very showy and totally yellow lip. At first there is Onc. varicosum var rogersii, which is chosen due to its capacity of being very floriferous, but principally because it is predominant transmitting to the progeny the big, yellow and outstanding lip. Oncidium flexuosum, which is another species of this section, is one of the most popular and cultivated species of the genus. Its application increases the number of flowers as well as the tolerance to different temperatures.
The section Concoloria is the third section most used in hybridization, and the Oncidium concolor is practically the only species used which dominant feature is the broad lip. The choice for this species is due to its intense yellow lip's color. The use of species of other sections is restricted.