Cattleyas in bloom

Spring means orchid shows and more additions to the collection. I’ve been branching out into new varieties over the last few months, including cattleyas, the original “corsage orchids” that were wildly popular in the 20th century before phalaenopsis orchids became more common.

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I got this hybrid (Lc. Mari’s Magic x L. briegeri ‘Star of Brasil’ HCC/AOS) at the Tulsa show from Bird’s Orchids, already in bud. The spike is very long and flexible, and tends to droop if I don’t stake it back. The blossoms are small and star shaped with ruffling on the inside, and are more cream than yellow, which I like. When I went to the TOS show, I was really hoping to get a red cattleya with huge blooms, but took a chance on this one. It has very little fragrance, and I like the color combinations.

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Obviously the lower flower wound up blooming upside down. It opened only a few days after I bought it, so I think maybe changes in its lighting caused that.

Then I had the opportunity to go to the OKC orchid show, which was a bit bigger, being more of a regional thing. Vendors from Ecuador and Texas, the works. I wasn’t going to be able to leave a plant in a hot car all day, so I asked the Timbuktu Orchids table to hold onto this budding Iwanagara Apple Blossom for me.

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I know, onnnne orchid from a show, that’s just wrong. Orchid people don’t do that, orchid people go HAM on that shit.

It opened after about 4 days, and the woman who sold it to me commented on the fact that the flower was coming from between two leaves, which must be a bit unusual. I’m still learning the ins and outs. There’s only one bloom so far, but it’s this gorgeous, perfect magenta and light pink, in a perfect shape and size.

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And it smells fantastic, almost like a rose. It’s strong, especially sitting in a south window, too—you can smell it just walking into the room.

Alright, those are the flowering updates of late—I’ve certainly bought and acquired a few more past these two.