Cattleya perrinii – 365 days of orchids – day 1028

This is a medium sized plant with flowers 12cm across that are very large for the plant. This lovely orchid is native to the Mata Atlantica coastal forests of eastern Brazil. It is found at around 800m, in habitat we have visited, where it grows as a lithophyte or epiphyte in seasonally dry forest that experiences wet warm summers and cooler dryer winters.

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

 View from the side.

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.

In its habitat this plant has become very scarce mostly as a result of habitat loss.


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