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a genus of plants of the family Orchidaceae. They are epiphytes, generally with rhizomatous, thickened stems, or pseudobulbs, bearing at the apex one or two leaves. The many-flowered inflorescence is racemose or panicled. In certain species, some of the flowers are sterile. The odd and showy blooms of some species, for example, the butterfly plant (O. papilio), resemble exotic insects. The flowers, which measure as much as 7 to 11 cm across, are yellow or brown with green, white, or reddish spots or stripes.
There are approximately 350 species of Oncidium, distributed from southern Florida and Mexico to Bolivia and Paraguay. The plants grow in tropical rain forests and in the mountains. Many species and hybrids are cultivated for cut flowers.