The morning has woken wet and windy in Somerset – far removed from the tropical warmth of South America. In the greenhouse it is another story and the sparkling flowers of Cattleya trianae ‘alba’ transporting us to the warm mountains of Colombia.
This orchid is a very reliable spring flowering species which thrives in our Warm Americas section. We find that we have different clones flowering from early February (alba is always the first) through to April.
Cattleya trianae is the national flower of Colombia and is endemic to that country where it is found in open woodland at around 1000m altitude. In cultivation we find that plants enjoy good light and free draining compost but plenty of water when in growth. We grow all our Cattleya trianaes in baskets hung high in the roof of the greenhouse and filled with a course bark and no moss. The plants produce masses of roots and we keep them just damp in the winter but much wetter in the summer.
This plant is labelled ‘alba’ and is mostly missing the usual purple and pink colouring but there is a slight pink tone on the lip near the yellow blotch.