Gongora, named after the Viceroy of New Granada Antonio Caballero y Gongora, is a Genus of Orchids. Allegedly, species of this genus were the first orchids described by Europeans.

The genus Gongora is represented by about 65 species, all found in Central- and South America and Trinidad. They grow in wide range of conditions from low-level tropical rain forests to high mountainous regions. All species grow as epiphytes, rarely as lithophytes, with thin aerial roots that grow in all directions.

The ovoid pseudo-bulbs have ribs, grow up to 10 cm long and carry two, rarely three, alternate leaves from the end of each pseudo-bulb.

The leaves are slightly leathery, veined and can grow up to a 30 cm length or more.

The long inflorescences grows from the base of the pseudo-bulbs. The flower spike grows firstly upright and later bends and finishes up pendulous.

The waxy flowers are numerous, hang upside down with the lip upwards and are strongly perfumed.

Best grown in hanging baskets or in pots that allows the pendulous inflorescences to hang down uninterrupted. The roots should not be allowed to dry out.

Male bees of the genus “Euglossa” pollinate the flowers of Gongora orchids. The same bees pollinate the flowers of Cycnoches species. The bees “harvest” the perfume and by doing so cross-pollinate the orchids. If you have time and access to "You Tube", watch the short film “Orchids and Bees”, it is worth it.

Related to Stanhopea.