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Cattleya labiata
Habit: herbaceous
Height:  ?
Lifespan: perennial
Origin:  ?
Exposure:  ?
Water:  ?
USDA Zones:  ?
Sunset Zones:
[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > Magnoliophyta > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > Liliopsida > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > Asparagales > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Orchidaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > Epidendreae > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > Cattleya {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} {{{species}}} {{{subspecies}}} var. {{{cultivar}}}

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Cattleya (William Cattley, an early English horticulturist and naturalist). Orchidaceae. Epiphytic orchids, requiring intermediate temperatures.CH

Pseudobulbs ovoid, clavate, fusiform or cylindric, short or elongated, smooth or furrowed, bearing; 1-3 lvs.: lvs. coriaceous: fls. single or in clusters, borne usually at the apex of the pseudobulb, rarely on a leafy st. arising from the base of the pseudobulb, showy; sepals and petals similar or the petals much broader, membranous or fleshy; lip usually 3-lobed; lateral lobes commonly forming a tube inclosing the column, rarely the lateral lobes small; column clavate, fleshy; pollinia 4.—A genus of about 40 species, natives of continental Trop. Amer., especially numerous in Brazil and in the Andean region. Innumerable hybrids and horticultural forms have been named, those of the labiata group alone running into hundreds. Showiest of all orchids, and of great commercial value.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

The cattleyas are indigenous to the western hemisphere only, Central and South America being the regions in which they abound, particularly in the latter, from the different countries of which large quantities are imported yearly. During the last few years the collecting and importing of cattleyas into the United States has assumed large proportions, owing to a continually and steadily increased demand, not only by amateurs but also by the trade in general. There are two particular reasons for this increased demand: first, the exquisitely beautiful flowers, combined with size and marvelous colors adapted for decorations at all sorts of functions, are never out of place; second, their easy culture. Florists and amateurs alike are beginning to realize that, after all, orchids are plants, and if only treated in a commonsense way they are by far easier to grow than a good many other plants, and especially so the cattleyas, provided some attention is paid to their requirements.

Cattleyas, as a whole, delight in a genial atmosphere, with all the air possible when the outside temperature will permit. In summer, from May on to the end of October, air should be admitted day and night; thus there are no temperatures to be prescribed for these months. Later, when artificial heat has to be depended on, 50° to 55° at night is the best, bearing in mind that the earliest species to flower may be kept at the warmer end, and the later summer-blooming species, such as C. Mossiae and C. gigas, may be wintered at the cooler end of the structure; thus beginning in autumn with C. labiata, C. Percivaliana, C. Trianae, C. Schroederae, C. Mossiae, C. Mendelii; and, last of all, C. gigas, in their regular order of bloom, these may be treated according to their season of flowering. One cannot change the time of blooming of a cattleya, that is to say force it as other plants may be forced, without injury to the plants and a poor quality of bloom, but they are often retarded by systematic copier treatment.

The best potting material is the soft brown osmundine, used alone with no sphagnum moss unless it is possible to make this moss live, and even then it is of no value to the plants except as an index to the presence of moisture. Moss that is dead and inert is a detriment in the potting material of all orchids. The one imperative thing in the potting of cattleyas is that they be made perfectly firm in their receptacles: if loose potting is practised, the young roots are injured each time the plant is handled, and the material is like a sponge, holding too much moisture in suspension for the plants to do well, and, given a time when the roots do not dry out quickly, all will soon die.

Newly imported cattleyas, as they arrive from South America, are usually much dried up, due to the treatment given before shipment to avoid loss by decay or fermentation on the way. If the plants are washed well with soap and water, placed in an airy shaded house for a few weeks and allowed to plump up again, roots will soon be seen starting. At this time, pot each piece in a receptacle suitable to the size of the plant (never let it be too large, but always err on the minimum when in doubt), fill the pots half full of drainage if common flower-pots are used, and fill up with osmundine to the top, pressing this material in with a blunt pointed stick so that the plant will be firm. Moisture from this time on for weeks may be applied by spraying overhead during bright days. If the pieces are large, baskets are preferable to pots, as there is more aeration through the material and the plants may be suspended and space economized. Newly established plants often bloom the first year, and one may get an idea of the infinite variety found among the plants, as no two are alike. Some districts known to collectors produce better forms than others, in fact, in certain localties, the plants found produce flowers of very inferior quality. It is becoming more difficult to collect orchids, especially cattleyas from their native habitats, transportation not having improved and the distance to travel being greater each time. In consequence of this, hybridizers are now turning their attention to the reproduction of fine forms true to themselves, with considerable success, and should the supply of wild plants fail, there cannot now, in view of the well-understood and successful methods of raising cattleyas, be a time when the plants will be unobtainable. Considering the variation found among the wild plants, it is to be expected that home-raised seedlings will vary; but if the best-known forms are used, and these only are worth the trial, one may expect a large measure of success.

In our climate there is no period when the cattleyas should be kept dry at the roots. The plants are either getting ready to bloom, in crop, or recuperating there-from, and these three periods cover the year. One does not have to resort to drying to attain ripening as do the European cultivators, and failure here is often traceable to foreign training or text-books.

Established plants should be repotted at least every second year. This is as long as the osmundine will remain suitable for the roots to ramify in, and if the plants are grown in pots, immerse the same a day before if the roots are dry, or most of them will remain attached to the pots. Remove all decayed portions of material and roots, wash with clean water, and repot as with newly imported plants, remembering always that a size too large often proves fatal to success. Plants that have been newly potted must not be placed among others that have not received attention, but all should be put in a situation in which they can be treated to little water at the roots for several weeks until the weather is such that there is no danger of their becoming overwatered. Cattleyas should be attended to in this respect in the winter months, taking first C. labiata, as it is the first to start growing, then C. Trianae; the later kinds may be potted before flowering with less injury than afterwards, if done with care.

In hot weather, cattleyas should always be watered in the evening or latter part of the day. A generous spraying overhead will supply the moisture at a time when the roots get most of it, as may be seen by an examination in early morning. There is no danger of injury if an abundance of air is supplied. One has only to be careful during such times as the atmosphere outside is surcharged with moisture, then it is wise not to use any moisture inside even for a week at a time. This is when the dreaded "black spot" disease is often seen. It usually begins at the union of leaf and bulb, and when first seen, amputation must be practised to a point below infection, and dry sulfur and powdered charcoal applied at once as an absorbent. A small can of this ought always to be ready to hand, for if the disease gets down to the rhizome, several bulbs will be affected at once, and it is often difficult to save the plant. The disease is also highly infectious and may easily be transmitted to a healthy plant by means of a knife used to cut off diseased parts of another.CH

Opinions are divided as to the "feeding" of orchids. It is certain that when rain-water is saved in cisterns for the plants, and these happen to be in the vicinity of cities where soot collects on the roofs of the houses, the plants show unusual vigor and in consequence of this, many have practised the use of fertilizers in exceedingly dilute proportions in all the water used on the plants, and some have had surprising results. The temptation, however, is always present to feel that if a little is good, more would be better, and herein lies the danger. When plant-foods are used in solution, they should be considered only as sufficient to make the difference between rain-water and that which comes out of a pipe.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Apart from seeds, the propagation of cattleyas is a slow process to be accomplished only by the cutting of the rhizome between the bulbs, leaving at least three of the leading ones and separating the older ones according to their strength or the dormant buds at the base that are visible. A clean cut or notch that almost severs the rhizome is the best, leaving the parts where they are until new growth and roots are made, then potting in small receptacles, wiring or staking the little pieces firmly. Apart from the three last-made bulbs on the rhizome, the older ones are a source of weakness to the plants and are better removed, and in the case of valuable forms utilized as above. This is the way all duplicates of the many albino varieties have been obtained. There are many white cattleyas bearing the same name, as C. Trianae alba or C. Mossiae Wagneri, for many have appeared among importations, but these differ in each individual and unless a plant is increased by division one cannot be sure of the same thing.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

Pests and diseases

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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture


The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

  • Cattleya aclandiae : Lady Ackland's Cattleya (Brazil)
  • Cattleya amethystoglossa : Amethyst-lipped Cattleya (Brazil)
  • Cattleya araguaiensis : Cattleya from Araguaia river (Brazil) == Cattleyella araguaiensis (Pabst) van den Berg & M.W.Chase, see Cattleyella
  • Cattleya aurantiaca : Orange Cattleya (Mexico to C. America) == Guarianthe aurantiaca, see Guarianthe
  • Cattleya aurea : Golden-yellow Cattleya (S. Panama to Colombia). Pseudobulb epiphyte
  • Cattleya bicolor : Bicolored Cattleya (SE. Brazil)
    • Cattleya bicolor subsp. bicolor (Brazil). Pseudobulb epiphyte
    • Cattleya bicolor subsp. canastrensis (Brazil) . Pseudobulb epiphyte
    • Cattleya bicolor subsp. minasgeraiensis (Brazil). Pseudobulb epiphyte
  • Cattleya bowringiana : Bowring's Cattleya (Mexico to Honduras) == Guarianthe bowringiana, s

ee Guarianthe

  • Cattleya candida (Colombia).
  • Cattleya dormaniana : Dorman's Cattleya (Brazil)
  • Cattleya dowiana : Queen of the Cattleyas, Dow's Cattleya (Costa Rica).
  • Cattleya elongata : Cattleya with the Elongated Stalk (Brazil)
  • Cattleya forbesii : Forbes' Cattleya (Brazil)
  • Cattleya gaskelliana : Gaskell's Cattleya (Colombia to Trinidad).
  • Cattleya granulosa : Granulose Cattleya (Brazil)
  • Cattleya guttata : Spotted Cattleya (Brazil).
  • Cattleya harrisoniana : Harrison's Cattleya (SE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya intermedia : Intermediate Cattleya (SE. & S. Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay).
    • Cattleya intermedia var. orlata
  • Cattleya iricolor : Rainbow-colored Cattleya (Ecuador to Peru).
  • Cattleya jenmanii : Jenman's Cattleya (Venezuela to Guyana).
  • Cattleya kerrii : Kerr's Cattleya (Brazil).
  • Cattleya labiata : Crimson Cattleya, Ruby-lipped Cattleya (Brazil)
  • Cattleya lawrenceana : Sir Trevor Lawrence's Cattleya (Venezuela, Guyana, N. Brazil).
  • Cattleya loddigesii : Loddiges' Cattleya (SE. Brazil to NE. Argentina).
    • Cattleya loddigesii subsp. loddigesii (SE. Brazil to NE. Argentina). Pseudobulb epiphyte
    • Cattleya loddigesii subsp. purpurea (Brazil). Pseudobulb epiphyte
  • Cattleya lueddemanniana : Lueddemann's Cattleya (N. Venezuela).
  • Cattleya luteola : Pale-yellow Cattleya (N. Brazil, Ecuador to Bolivia).
  • Cattleya maxima : Greatest Cattleya, Christmas Flower (Venezuela to Peru).
  • Cattleya mendelii : Mendel's Cattleya (NE. Colombia).
  • Cattleya mooreana : Moore's Cattleya (Peru).
  • Cattleya mossiae : Easter Orchid, Mrs. Moss' Cattleya (N. Venezuela)
  • Cattleya nobilior : Noble Cattleya (WC. Brazil to Bolivia).
  • Cattleya patinii : Patin's Cattleya (Costa Rica to Venezuela, Trinidad) == Guarianthe patinii, see Guarianthe
  • Cattleya percivaliana : Christmas orchid, Percival's Cattleya (Colombia to W. Venezuela).
  • Cattleya porphyroglossa : Purple-lipped Cattleya (Brazil).
  • Cattleya rex : King of the Cattleyas (Colombia to N. Peru).
  • Cattleya schilleriana : Consul Schiller's Cattleya (Brazil).
  • Cattleya schofieldiana : Schofield's Cattleya (Brazil)
  • Cattleya schroderae : Easter Orchid, Baroness Schroder's Cattleya (NE. Colombia).
  • Cattleya skinneri : Flower of San Sebastian, Skinner's Cattleya (SE. Mexico to C. America) == Guarianthe skinneri, see Guarianthe
  • Cattleya tenuis : Slender-stemmed Cattleya (NE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya tigrina (SE. & S. Brazil).
  • Cattleya trianae : Dr. Triana's Cattleya (Colombia).
  • Cattleya velutina : Velvety Cattleya (Brazil)
  • Cattleya violacea : Superba of the Orinoco, Violet Cattleya (S. Trop. America).
  • Cattleya walkeriana : Walker's Cattleya (WC. & SE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya wallisii (N. Brazil).
  • Cattleya warneri : Warner's Cattleya (E. Brazil).
  • Cattleya warscewiczii : Warscewicz's Cattleya (Colombia).

Natural Hybrids

  • Cattleya × brasiliensi (= C. bicolor × C. harrisoniana) (Brazil) .
  • Cattleya × brymeriana (= C. violacea × C. wallisii) (N. Brazil).
  • Cattleya x calimaniorum Chiron & V.P.Castro (NE Brazil)
  • Cattleya × colnagiana (Brazil).
  • Cattleya × dayana (= C. forbesii × C. guttata) (Brazil).
  • Cattleya × dolosa (= C. loddigesii × C. walkeriana): Dolose Cattleya, Crafty Cattleya, Deceitful Cattleya (Brazil).
  • Cattleya × dukeana (C. bicolor × C. guttata) (SE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × duveenii ( = C. guttata × C. harrisoniana) (SE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × gransabanensis (= C. jenmanii × C. lawrenceana) (Venezuela).
  • Cattleya × guatemalensis (= C. aurantiaca × C. skinneri.) : Guatemalan Cattleya (SE. Mexico to C. America). National flower of Guatemala == Guarianthe ×guatemalensis, see Guarianthe
  • Cattleya × hardyana ( = C. dowiana var.aurea × C. warscewiczii): Hardy's Cattleya (Colombia).
  • Cattleya × hybrida (= C. guttata × C. loddigesii) (SE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × imperator ( = C. granulata × C. labiata) (NE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × intricata (=. C. intermedia × C. leopoldii) (S. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × isabella (.= C. forbesii × C. intermedia) (SE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × itatiayae (SE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × joaquiniana ( = C. bicolor × C. walkeriana) (Brazil) .
  • Cattleya × kautskyi (= C. harrisoniana × C.) (SE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × lucieniana ( = C. forbesii × C. granulosa) (SE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × measuresii ( = C. aclandiae × C. walkeriana) (E. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × mesquitae ( = C. nobilior × C. walkeriana) (Brazil).
  • Cattleya × mixta ( = C. guttata × C. schofieldiana) (Brazil).
  • Cattleya × moduloi (C. schofieldiana × C. warneri) (Brazil).
  • Cattleya × patrocinii (= C. guttata × C. warneriana): Patrocinio's Cattleya (SE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × picturata ( = C. guttata × C. intermedia) (SE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × resplendens ( = C. granulosa × C. schilleriana) (NE. Brazil)
  • Cattleya × scita (= C. intermedia × C. tigrina) (S. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × tenuata (= C. elongata × C. tenuis) (Brazil) .
  • Cattleya × undulata ( = C. elongata × C. schilleriana) (Brazil).
  • Cattleya × venosa (= C. forbesii × C. harrisoniana) (Brazil).
  • Cattleya × victoria-regina ( C. guttata × C. labiata) (NE. Brazil).
  • Cattleya × wilsoniana ( = C. bicolor × C. intermedia). (Brazil).
  • Cattleya x zayrae V.P.Castro & Cath (bahia, Brazil)


Cattleyas have been hybridized both within the genus and with related genera for more than a century, but the last several decades have seen a remarkable increase in both the quantity and quality of the hybrids within the Cattleya alliance. Among the most popular are the Blc (Brassolaeliocattleya) and Slc (Sophrolaeliocattleya) hybrids.

Laelia (L): Breeding with this genus refines the lip of the orchid, producing a more elongated closed "cone" that gracefully opens into the full lip of the blossom. Some species of Laelia also contribute an intense violet shade. L+C = Laeliocattleya, the basis for many more complex and highly popular hybrids.

Brassavola (B): Most crosses with Brassavola are actually done with the Ryncholaelia digbyana, which was moved out of the Brassavola genus but is still considered such in naming the hybrid. This cross is made in order to effect the fabulous "feathered" or "ruffled" lip of the bloom; it also expands the lip of the blossom and the most imposing cattleya hybrids almost always have this species in their ancestry. These are usually the largest of the major cattleya hybrids. B+C = Brassocattleya, B+L+C = Brassolaeliocattleya.

Sophronitis (S): A tiny, flame-colored orchid that introduces the most intense red color to its descendants. Many crimson and scarlet cattleya hybrids betray sophronitis in their ancestry. Sophronitis is also used to miniaturize cattleya hybrids. S+L+C = Sophrolaeliocattleya.

Potinara (Pot.): The combination of all three of the above with a cattleya. Potinaras are not as popular as Blc's or Slc's, but there are some incredible examples coming in all ranges of colors from light green to magenta. Although it is not a rule, they are generally smaller than Blc's but larger than Slc's.

Yamadara (Yam.): The cross of the Blc combination with an [Epidendrum]. The addition of Epidendrum appears to increase flower yield, and some Yamadaras are intensely colored.

Hawkinsara (Hknsa.): The Slc combination crossed with [Broughtonia]. Smaller, often magenta/reddish flowers.

Cattleyas can be crossed with a large number of other allied genera, including Cattleyopsis, Diacrium, Schomburgkia, Tetramicra, etc. Hybridization can go all the way up to eight parent genera, such a s Brassavola x Broughtonia x Cattleya x Cattleyopsis x Diacrium x Epidendrum x Laelia x Sophronitis in Gladysyeeara.



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