365 days of orchids – day 652 – Cattleya maxima

What an orchid! This is definitely one to look out for at the British Orchid Show (just two weeks away now from 2-4th Nov)

Cattleya maxima is one of the real stars of autumn in the school greenhouse with long lasting enormous flowers in heavy sprays from the relatively short pseudobulbs.

Cattleya maxima is native to South America from Venezuela down to Peru. It grows in forests from sea level up to 1500m making it an accommodating and straight forward species to grow. We find in enjoys baskets hung high in Warm Americas and keep it watered throughout the year.

We have this free flowering pink clone as well as the blue grey coerulea variety. We are delighted that the council chose this species to to put on the road sign welcoming drivers to the village of Writhlington – a tropical twist to the North Somerset Coalfield. The village of Writhlington is also famous for its coal mine – the last to close in Somerset and the coal tip which has provided remarkable fossils of giant dragonflies.


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