Cattleya mendelii – 365 days of orchids – day 878

A real ‘wow’ in the greenhouse this week is our large specimen of Cattleya mendelii with 24 flowers on eight spikes.

This magnificent Cattleya species is native to Colombia where it grows at around 1000m as a lithophyte on exposed rocks. We find it to be a straight forward species to grow in our Warm America section where we have several clones.

The species flowers reliably in at the end of May for us and in cultivation the species can be recognised by the characteristic flowering season, generally light petals and very dramatic purple pink lip pattern. A good starting point in telling simiar cattleyas species apart is remembering their flowering time as we showed with our ‘Cattleyas throughout the year’ (although Cattleya mendelii didn’t make the list)

The plant here is growing in a free crate from a market acting as a wide shallow basket and we find free crates are a great potting solution – reuse the plastic – suited to the shallow roots of many orchid species – free draining – and of course easy to carry.


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