A key purpose of our collection of 1000 orchid species is to produce seed for propagation in our laboratory. Todays orchid is interesting as the flower from this year’s growth is next to the seed pod from last year’s flower. This shows that the seed pod takes more than 12 months to mature and we expect it to to release seed sometime over the summer.
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 too, 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 look forward to having seedlings available from the seed pod (in about two years time)