Guarianthe bowringiana (Cattleya bowringiana) – 365 days of orchids – day 1409

Today the roof of our Warm Americas Section is lit up by the flamboyant flowers of Guarianthe bowringiana.

Guarianthe bowringiana has been reclassified from Cattleya bowringiana as its phylogeny separates it from the cattleyas of South America.  We have several plants of this species, most are pink and one (the coerulea variety) is purply blue.

Guarianthe bowringiana is native to Guatemala and Belize in Central America. It is usually found in dryish lowland forest and was seen by students on our trip to Guatemala near Yaxha at 300m altitude (see photo below). Plants come into flower during autumn and winter and produce long spikes with many flowers from the robust pseudobulbs.

We find the species enjoys a basket of well draining compost but heavy water when in active growth during the summer. We hang plants higher (and so drier) in the roof of its Warm Americas Section for flowering and over the winter months until growth starts again in the spring.


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