is a very popular genus of 42 species of orchids from tropical
South America, they can naturally be found from Brazil to Costa
Rica. The genus was named in 1824 by John Lindley after William
Cattley, who received and cultivated specimens of Cattleya labiata
that were used as packing material in a shipment of other orchids.
naturally occurring species are offered by growers, the most popular
plants are man-made hybrids derived from combining Cattleyas with
some of their close relatives to produce a wide range of colors,
sizes and forms. The old fashioned hybrids had huge and fragrant
flowers that can last for more than 6 weeks.
are slow-growing, taking 5-7 years or more to flower from seed.
Most produce relatively few, large flowers at maturity. Cattleyas
and their relatives require a good amount of light. These plants
enjoy full sun in the morning, but will require shading from about
11am-3pm; less shading will be necessary in the late afternoon.
Their leaves should be a light green color, and a darker green
color indicates too little sun.
Generally, cattleyas grow best when their potting
medium becomes dry in between waterings. These plants are epiphytes
in nature, growing on top of trees and are used to drying
out between the rains of their natural habitat.
Cattleya species - Cattleya information.
OF FLOWERS been
worn as corsages at countless proms, dances, anniversaries, and
weddings... They are still very popular today!
Photo: Cattleya forbesii
Carlo Alberto Zaldini