One Cattleya species is particularly impressive today at the greenhouse – Cattleya intermedia, with the three different clones, shown above, all flowering together.
Cattleya intermedia is bi-foliate (two leaves on each pseudobulb) and comes from the Mata Atlantica (coastal Eastern Brazil) where it grows in forest up to about 1000m and so is warm to intermediate growing and seems to love our Warm Americas Section (Minimum 15C). We grow plants in baskets hung high in the greenhouse for good light and drainage.
We saw a small population of plants in open forest on our first expedition to Brazil in 2000 where the natural climate is one with a wet summer and a much dryer winter. The species is found over a wide range and this partly explains the great diversity of colour forms and shapes found in the species. We have another clone still in bud with particularly large flowers which we will share when it flowers but I am a real fan of the plant’s diversity. The first photo shows a more usual form of thew species with pink petals and a dark purple lip. The shape of this flower is also typical with a tall flower with attractive spreading petals and sepals. The third photo is our ‘coerulea’ form with a bluish lip and creamy petals – the flower of this clone is beautifully waxy and the plant is much smaller that most clones. The alba clone, middle photo, is the most perfect crystalline white – three fantastic plants.