365 days of orchids – day 271 – Cattleya pirrenii

This large flowered orchid is native to the Mata Atlantica coastal forests of eastern Brazil. It is found at around 800m where it grows as a lithophyte or epiphyte in seasonally dry forest which experiences wet warm summers and cooler dryer winters.

The flowers are best looked at from above as the plant is clearly attracting pollinators that fly over the flowers.

Our plants usually produce between two and four flowers on a strong stem and have a single stiff leaf on each bulb. The natural habitat suggests that plants need intermediate temperatures (min 14C) but we find that plants do well both in Warm Americas (minimum 16C) and Cool Americas (minimum 12C). New growths produce few thick roots and we find that these do best in baskets where there is excellent drainage but we can water heavily in summer.


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