|Native:||a large genus with over 500 species, grouped into several subgenera found from Mexico to southern Brazil, but mostly in the higher regions (2,500-4,000 m ASL) of the Andes of Ecuador and Colombia, Peru and Bolivia|
|Type:||may be epiphytes, terrestrials or growing as lithophytes on damp rocks|
|Size:||flower size ranges from about 1 to 10 in.|
|Flowering:||flowers are triangular and occur singly or in racemose inflorescences|
|Colors:||pure white, green, and brownish black, but the most popular species are orange to red; Masdevallia veitchiana has orange flowers covered in a pattern of small purple hairs that create a kind of iridescence as it moves in the breezes|
|Flowering stem:||plants have an abbreviated to elongate and creeping rhizome that gives rise to stems that lack pseudobulbs|
|Growth pattern:||sympodial; grows laterally rather than vertically, following the surface of its support|
|Pseudobulb:||lacks pseudobulbs, therefore, the medium should always remain moist as the plants do not have any significant storage structures like most orchids|
|Roots:||new roots sprout from the creeping rhizome|
|Known for:||their sepals which are the showiest part of the flower and often taper into long tails; the form of the flower which is triangular or tubular; intense colors|
|History:||genus is named for Jose Masdeval, a physician and botanist in the court of Charles III of Spain|
The sepals join at the base to form a tube, which narrows toward its tip, often into long tails, making the flowers of some species resemble kites. Most forms have distinctly triangular or tubular flowers.
The petals are tiny structures nestled in the center of the flower. The petals flank the semiterete (slightly tapering) column and the tongue-shaped lip is flexibly hinged to a free column foot.