Ada, abbreviated as Ada in horticultural trade, is a genus of 16
species in the orchid family (Orchidaceae), subfamily Epidendroideae,
tribe Cymbidieae, subtribe Oncidiinae, alliance Oncidium. The type
species is Ada aurantiaca.
These are epiphytic or lithophytic orchids. They are native to
Nicaragua down to northern South America, down the Andes to Bolivia.
They are warm to cool-growing plants to be found in wet, montane
forests at higher elevations, between 650 and 2700 m, but most
between 1800 to 2200 m.
The lanceolate leaves are distichous (growing in two ranks) with
a length of 20 cm, growing on pseudobulbs with a maximum length of
10 cm. The foliaceous leaf sheaths are well-developed.
The pendent and spectacularly colorful inflorescences do not grow
above the leaves. They can produce up to 15 fragrant flowers,
blooming from January till April. The color can vary from white to
greenish and orange. The perianth is narrow and pointed, with almost
similar sepals and petals.. The floral bracts are large and
The lip is reflexed. It bears a basal callus made up of two
plates. It often ends in two tooth-like mounds.
Ada uses a "pseudoparasitism" method of attracting parasite
pollinators, by mimicking their host.
They are not easy to cultivate, because of their high demands.