365 days of orchids – Day 285 – Cattleya bowringiana ‘coerulea’


Cattleya bowringiana (now named Guarianthe bowringiana) is usually pink (see Guatemala photo below) but this variety is purply blue. It is native to Guatemala and Belize in Central America and is the most northern-growing of the Cattleya species. It is usually found in dryish lowland forest and was seen by students on the trip to Guatemala near Yaxha at 300m altitude (see photo below). They come into flower during autumn and winter and produce long spikes with many flowers from the robust pseudobulbs.

We have the normal variety in bud and that will be joining coerulea in flower next week.


Join the Discussion


  1. Danny Easton says:

    Dear Laura

    Although I’ve successfully grow this orchid plant flowering each year Oct/Nov, unfortunately last year the flowers did not come out fully from its bud. The bud itself was quite large but the flowers struggled to come out although I could see 10% of the flowers and it was heart-broken after waiting for a year to enjoy the annual experience.

    Please can you help why that happened.

    Thank you

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      Sorry to hear you had trouble with buds not opening. Possible causes are:
      1. Too little light as autumn kicked in – they grow in exposed positions open forest.
      2. Too dry during flowering – water pressure is needed to expand buds.
      3. Sudden changes in temperature
      I hope that this helps – and good luck next year.

    • Danny Easton says:

      Dear Simon

      Thank you very much for your assessment. I think item 2 was the obvious cause as I’ve stopped watering over autumn.

      Thanks again for your help.

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      It is worth remembering that autumns in Guatemala can be very wet thanks to the hurricane season.