Cattleya crispa ‘aurea’ – 365 days of orchids – day 1348

Our second Brazillian cattleya to follow on from yesterday’s Cattleya bicolor is this striking species that we have seen growing in cool Brazilian forests along the Rio del Flores in Rio State.

Plants produce a single leaf 30cm long at the top of a ridged pseudobulb and flower spikes emerge as the bulb matures giving around 5-10 12cm wide attractively folded and ruffled flowers (hence the name). The flowers are long lasting if kept dry and in common with related species look upwards for their pollinator and so are worth dropping down when in flower so you can enjoy the best view of the dark lip.

This is the first flowering of our ‘aurea’ clone meaning it has a yellowish colour (more like cream really) and the plant is still quite compact but will soon be a monster plant.

We have seen the plant growing high in trees at around 1000m and so give it cool bright conditions in Cool Americas (minimum 12C). In common with many orchid species it flowers most abundantly when it can get its roots into some dead wood on its host tree and so responds well to feeding when in growth.

We also have the more standard white and pink form (below)

The name refers to the wonderfully crisped lip.

We propagate our cattleyas from seed and they make lovely strong seedlings. We will be searching through the lab during our first week back at school to see if any are now ready for sale at our online shop.


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