Cattleya alaorii – 365 days of orchids – day 1325

Some orchids are are really fast to become large specimen plants and others take years to multiply. Cattelya alaorii is definitely in the second camp.

Cattleya alaorii is one of the smaller growing cattleyas (previously included in Laelia) with large flowers for the size of the plant. The species is native to Brazil where it is found as an epiphyte in mossy primary forest between 200 and 600m altitude. Conditions here will be warm throughout the year and we find the species does best in our Warm Americas section (Min 15C) and mounted to suit the small buy scrambling habit of the plant. Although the habitat is reported as mossy we find that plants much prefer bare cork bark for the roots to attach to but we make a point of spraying plants daily to avoid them drying too much.

We have had the species for more than twenty years and it is always a treat when it flowers. We pollinated the plant yesterday so hopefully seedlings available in the future.


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  1. Agnes Jones says:

    This is such a beautiful little orchid. It has a pinky tinge in the photograph but I saw it yesterday and the tint was definitely on the blue side.
    Yesterday you pollinated the flower with a match stick but I can’t remember Simon what you said pollinated this little Catleya in nature. Please would you remind me?

    • Simon Pugh-Jones says:

      Small flowered cattleya species are either hummimg bird or bee pollinated as a rule – I would suggest bee pollination here.