As March sunshine starts to warm the greenhouse we are greeted by this a stunning variety of one of our favourite Cattleya species.
Cattleya intermedia is bifoliate (two leaves on each pseudobulb) and comes from the Mata Atlantica (coastal Eastern Brazil) where we have seen it growing in forest at 1000m although it is present right down to scrub forest by the sea. This means it grows warm to intermediate and loves our Warm Americas Section (Minimum 15C) where we keep it right up in the roof of the greenhouse for maximum light and warmth.
The species is present over along a long coastal strip of Eastern Brazil and is renowned for its diversity in flower colour, shape and plant form. We have several clones which show some of this diversity and we will share them over the next few weeks – all our plants flower during March and April.
The Coerulea variety here is remarkable on a number of points. It is the smallest growing clone with the densest flower spikes – the basket it is growing in is 15cm diameter – and the semi-alba flowers have the best ‘blue’ of any of our coerulea cattleyas. The flowers are also scented – a fantastic plant.
It is interesting to note the work done by Brazilian enthusiasts to classify some of the diversity present in the species – link here