365 days of orchids – day 243 – Cattleya crispa

We have seen this large and dramatic orchid growing in cool Brazilian forests along the Rio del Flores in Rio State.

Plants produce a single leaf 30cm long at the top of a ridged pseudobulb and flower spikes emerge as the bulb matures giving around 5-10 12cm wide attractively folded and ruffled flowers (hence the name). The flowers are long lasting if kept dry and in common with related species look upwards for their pollinator and so are worth dropping down when in flower so you can enjoy the best view of the dark lip.

We have seen the plant growing high in trees at around 1000m and so give it cool bright conditions in Cool Americas (minimum 12C). In common with many orchid species it flowers most abundantly when it can get its roots into some dead wood on its host tree and so responds well to feeding when in growth.


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  1. Mohan says:

    Is the correct scientific name for this orchid Cattleya crispata? Or is Cattleya crispata a synonym for Cattleya crispa?

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      Hi Mohan. cattleya crispa (this species) was previously known as Laelia crispa and is a large growing Brazilian epiphyte. Cattleya crispata was previously Laelia flava and is a small growing brightly coloured lithophyte. The Brazilian Laelias have been moved to Cattleya which makes good sense but does cause some confusion over names.


    Hi Simon please let me know if you will have plants of this please, thanks Chris