Laelia gouldiana – 365 days of orchids – day 1089

With Orchid Christmas approaching (do come and join us on December 14th 10am-4pm) our Cool Americas section is once again turning pink as the Mexican Laelias come into bloom. So this has to be one of our most christmassy orchids even though Christmas in the UK is not traditionally pink!

The first of the mexican Laelias to flower is Laelia gouliana. This is a strong growing species with large fat pseudobulbs and flower spikes up to 120cm long. Each flower spike is topped by 6 to 12 large pink flowers. The flowers are long lasting and make Christmas with us a very colourful festival.

We grow plants in baskets and pots. In baskets plants produce an abundance of arial roots that give Cool Americas a proper jungle feel and a favourite for film crews.

We water plants heavily in the summer when in growth and keep them hung in the roof of the greenhouse where they get good light and dry out quickly after watering.

The species was endemic to cool mountain woodland in Hidalgo State, Mexico but is very sadly now extinct in the wild. It is quite common in cultivation suggesting that wild collection was a key factor in its disappearance.  Extinction of Laelia gouldiana in the wild is dated 1998.

Here’s wishing you all an early Pink Christmas and a future where our biodiversity is protected for generations to come.


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