This orchid genus produces large, long-lasting, waxy, sometimes fragrant, triangular flowers. The plants are distinctive for their egg-shaped pseudobulbs and broad, pleated leaves. Lycaste flowers, like all orchid blooms, have three petals and three sepals. With some orchid species, it’s difficult to identify these parts. Masdevallia orchids, for example, have fused sepals and a hidden petal.
In this Lycaste flower, the parts are easily identifiable. Three sepals are behind two petals. The third petal is in the shape of a pitcher spout. This third petal is often called the lip or labellum and provides a perch for the flower’s pollinator. Protected by the petals and lip is the column, the orchids reproductive parts, which include the pollen.