Cattleya purpurata – 365 days of orchids – day 1959

Our Warm Americas section is now awash with the flamboyant flowers of our early summer flowering cattleya species including the grand Cattleya purpurata.

Cattleya purpurata is the Brazilian national flower and is wonderfully variable. The variety ‘venosa’ describes a range of plants with deeper pink flowers than are usually found (two varieties above)

Flowers are long lasting and held on strong spikes held clear of the long leave. We particularly enjoy getting a ‘bee’s eye view’ looking straight into the lip with its radial stripes leading us to the nectar.

We have another clone which is the ‘carnea’ form (below)

Cattleya purpurata is found as an epiphyte in open forest up to around 1000m where it experiences a warm wet summer and a cool dryer winter. With us it reliably flowers in between May and July.


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