Cattleya purpurata is the national flower of Brazil and a species prized for its diverse colour forms. The first clone to flower with us each year is the variety ‘carnea’ (photographed today) named for the meat red of its lip. Like many selectred forms this is a semi-alba with a coloured lip and the other petals and sepal pure white. The more common colour is pink with a darker lip (see photo below, although this clone has not yet shown any buds this year and will probably flower in July)
Cattleya purpurata is found as an epiphyte in open forest up to around 1000m where it experiences a warm wet summer and a cool dryer winter. With us it reliably flowers in between May and July and we keep the large plants hanging high in Warm America with a minimum temperature of 15C. High in the greenhouse plants get good light and the baskets of large bark allows lots of air spaces for the thick and abundant roots.
We have also found this a great species to raise from seed as the seedlings are really vigorous and plants usually reach flowering size four years from de-flasking.