Laser-heated float zone growth was used to study the directional solidification behavior of Bi–Sr–Ca–Cu–O superconductors. The phases that solidify from the melt, their morphology, and their composition are altered by growth rate. Highly textured microstructures are achieved by directional solidification at all growth rates. The superconducting phase is found always to have the composition Bi2.5Sr2CaCu2.2Oy when grown from boules with composition 2:2:1:2 (BiO1.5:SrO:CaO:CuO). Planar growth fronts of Bi2.5Sr2CaCu2.2Oy are observed when the temperature gradient divided by the growth rate (G/R) is larger than 3 ⊠ 1011 K-s/m2 in 2.75 atm oxygen. Thus, the 2212 compound was observed to solidify directly from the melt at the slowest growth rates used in this study. Measurement of the steady-state liquid zone composition indicates that it becomes bismuth-rich as the growth rate decreases. Dendrites of the primary solidification phase, (Sr1−xCax)14Cu24Oy, form in a matrix of Bi2.5Sr2CaCu2.2Oy when G/R is somewhat less than 3 ⊠ 1011 K-s/m2. Observed microstructures are consistent with a peritectic relationship among Bi2.5Sr2CaCu2.2Oy, (Sr1−xCax)14Cu24Oy (x = 0.4), and a liquid rich in bismuth at elevated oxygen pressure. At lower values of G/R, Sr3Ca2Cu5Oy is the primary solidification phase and negligible Bi2.5Sr2CaCu2.2Oy forms in the matrix.