WSBEorchids

Laelia anceps ‘semi-alba’ – 365 days of orchids – day 1821

We have been enjoying the flowers of Laelia anceps in the greenhouse since the end of November and the latest clone to open its flowers is this unusual semi-alba form. Semi-alba flowers have none of the usual pink/purple pigment apart from on the lip. It bis really interesting to compare this flower with a more usual clone (below) to see the pigment that has or hasn’t come through.

As I have said before the flowers of Laelia anceps are really variable in shape and colour and the three photos below show other clones in flower in the greenhouse. The first is a more normal pink clone, the second is the very large flowered and large growing Laelia anceps ‘veitchiana’ and the third is an alba variety that opens greenish and then becomes pure white with a yellow centre to the lip.

The first is a more normal pink clone

The second is the very large flowered and large growing Laelia anceps ‘veitchiana’ Not quite a semi-alba as the petals have a light pink hue

The third is an alba variety that opens greenish and then becomes pure white with a yellow centre to the lip.

Laelia anceps is native to Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras where it grows in pine oak forest and coffee plantations from 500-1500m altitude. The wide distribution of the species and its relatively harsh habitat help to explain the ease with which the plant grows in cultivation and its tolerance of both high temperatures in the summer and cool temperatures in the winter. The wide distribution also gives rise to the wide variety of forms.

 

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