365 days of orchids – day 159 – Cattleya purpurata
This wonderful species is the national flower of Brazil (Good choice) . It is found as an epiphyte in open forest up to around 1000m where it experiences a warm wet summer and a cool dryer winter. With us it reliably flowers in June and the greenhouse where we keep the large plants hanging high in Warm America with a minimum temperature of 15C and good light in baskets of large bark which allows lots of air spaces for the thick and abundant roots.
We have several clones of this species and a check on the internet shows that there is a fantastic diversity of coloured varieties available. We have also found this a great species to raise from seed as the seedlings are really vigorous and plants usually reach flowering size four years from de-flasking.