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C. labiata

This is a discussion on C. labiata within the Cattleyas, Vandas, Dendrobiums IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; A first bloomer of the "tipo" color form. If one had to choose a "type ...

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  1. #1
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    Default C. labiata

    A first bloomer of the "tipo" color form.



    If one had to choose a "type orchid" out of the bewildering array of genera and flowers within the orchid kingdom, Cattleya labiata would surely be at the top of the list. The blooming of this spectacular flower in 1818 set off an orchid craze in Victorian England that has continued unabated to this day. The species was originally discovered in 1816 by the plant collector William Swainson in the jungles of northern Brazil. Plants were sent to the Glasgow Botanic Garden in Scotland the following year, and some were given to the English plant enthusiast William Cattley. It was in the fall of 1818 that the first plants flowered in Cattley's stovehouse, and the sheer beauty of the blossoms set off a flurry of excitement and waves of subsequent plant collectors. Cattley's role in this story was forever immortalized by the official description of his plant, with perhaps the most coveted and spectacular genus in the orchid family bearing his name.

    Cattleya labiata was at first thought to be parasitic due to its epiphytic growth habit, and that sentiment spawned some fanciful tales such as H.G. Wells' "The Flowering of the Strange Orchid", in which a plant collector unwittingly becomes the host of a new species of bloodsucking orchid. Also propounded was a story that the original Cattleya labiata plants were actually used as packing material for the desired shipment of tropical ferns and mosses, and William Cattley had potted them up and was completely surprised at the results. In actuality, they were all packed together for practicality, but the beauty of the orchids were well known to Swainson at the time of collection.

    Cattleya labiata is one of the easiest cattleya species to grow. It typically starts new growth in the late winter or spring, and completes the growth during the summer months. With good culture, it may actually produce two successive growths during a single season, and will flower in the fall months in response to diminishing hours of daylight. It then rests after flowering, at which time water should be strictly curtailed. C. labiata comes in a variety of color forms, from all shades of lavender to albas, semi-albas, and coeruleas. C. labiata is one of the few cattleya species with a double sheath, and has a floral fragrance slightly reminiscent of hyacinth.

  2. #2
    ntgerald's Avatar
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    Default What a wonderful post.

    Thank you for taking the time to tell the background story.

  3. #3
    Diane's Avatar
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    They are lovely. And the red veining??

  4. #4
    bench72's Avatar
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    I reckon all your posts can be compiled and turned into a book Jason...

    Again, another wonderful plant and picture and very informative post to boot!

    cheers
    tim

  5. #5
    LJA's Avatar
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    No kidding on that one, Tim. Jason--awesome--flower and message. I love reading these posts of yours.

  6. #6
    jenn's Avatar
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    Default

    Very nice, and interesting. Thanks

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    Rence is offline Senior Member
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    Annie is offline Member
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    The lip is so vibrant!
    Thanks for the information on it, I learned a lot!

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