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Excerpts from

VOLUME 79, NO. 4—October, November, December 2015


Crazy for Catts
Fred Clarke
2 pages, 9 photos

C. loddigesii var. coerulea ‘Blue Sky’ AM/AOS

C. loddigesii var. coerulea ‘Blue Sky’ AM/AOS
©Fred Clarke

Creative orchid hybridizing results from one’s vision,intuition, and experience. It’s a bit like an artist interpreting what is seen, then mixing pigments and applying them to a canvas. As with any art form, the breeder usually has a vision of the expected outcome, and achieving that vision can be very satisfying. However, in some cases, unexpected and great things can occur....


Fun with Phals
Seeing Red

Norman Fang
2 pages, 3 photos

Phal Tying Shin Beagle ‘OrchidPhile’ HCC/AOS
Phal. Tying Shin Beagle ‘OrchidPhile’ HCC/AOS
©Eric Fang

Everyone sees “red” in a different way. For years the term “red,” as relates to phalaenopsis in particular, was loosely used to describe a rainbow of colors encompassing fuchsia, pink-red, blue-red or burgundy flowers. True fire-engine red waxy novelty phalaenopsis, created by the stronger influence of yellow or brown pigments, were very elusive due to the frequent use of pink, burgundy, and lavender species and those species’ hybrids in most breeding programs...

Calling all Paphiophiles
Harold Koopowitz
2 pages, 3 images

Paph. leucochilum
Paph. leucochilum

The next Paphiopedilum Guild meeting will be held in Santa Barbara on the Martin Luther King weekend, January 16 and 17, 2016. We have lined up an excellent roster of speakers and a wide array of slipper topics. In recent years, a large number of new species in the insigne-alliance have emerged.Many of them look quite similar yet others are distinct. The breeding potential of many of these new forms have not been explored. We have asked Olaf Gruss to sort these out and that will be the topic of his talk at the Guild meeting. One of the hottest areas of slipper activity involves growing and breeding with the genus Cypripedium. Dick Hanson has been asked to talk on their culture. Mary Gerritsen has agreed to give a talk on slippers in the wild. She is a great speaker and her talk is bound to be both exciting and entertaining. Other speakers are also being lined up. There will be a slipper display, sales, and an auction. This is going to be fun for all. Details of the exact venue and registration are in an advertisement in this issue on page 185, and also on line at orchiddigest.org/

Cattleya maxima
Munekazu Ejiri
8 pages, 23 photos

Highland type habitat near Macara, Ecuador.
Highland type habitat near Macara, Ecuador.
©Munekazu Ejiri

One of the gorgeous flowers in the Genus Cattleya has a name that means large, and it appeared in the western world in very early times. This flower is Cattleya maxima; it has a slightly different story from the other major Cattleya species especially in its early history and breeding. In the limelight in the early days, it was then not noticed for a long time. It had taken almost 100 years before Cattleya
maxima was back to center stage again. Cattleya maxima is easy to grow and flower, but it is sometimes difficultto bloom that perfect flower. However, once that perfectflower blooms, it is breathtaking...


Venezuelan Unifoliate Cattleyas
Michael Sinn
8 pages, 13 photos

C. mossiae on a bucare tree.

C. mossiae
on a bucare tree.
©Michael Sinn

The country of Venezuela occupies the northeastern part of South America. With a land mass of over a million square miles, it is just a little bit bigger than the state of Texas (yes, only a little bit). Location and size allows this country one of the most diversified climates: from the heat of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean coast, to the cold and almost eternal snow of the Andes, whose mountains reach up to 5,000 meters (16,400 feet). A vast inland plain called the llanos (flat land), offers extreme seasons: raining every day for about six months and then an absolutely dry semester with no rain. The Orinoco River divides this majestic land. On the south and west side of it, we have the rainforest, known locally as the Amazonas jungle, and to the east the Canaima National Park...


Habitat considerations in Brazilian laelias: Hadrolaelia
Francisco Miranda
6 pages, 12 photos

Hadrolaelia sincorana growing on Vellozia, under full sun light.
Hadrolaelia sincorana growing on Vellozia, under full sun light.
©Francisco Miranda

Since I wrote a basic essay on the hadrolaelias a few years back, I had the idea of adding more info on the habitats of these plants. Recently, I had a chance to revisit several of the habits and at the same time received information from other people visiting different areas; the time has come to share this information. The opportunity to publish this in the Orchid Digest also fulfills an old wish of mine to add to a magazine with such a long history of quality treatment of Brazilian orchids and their habitats.

The scope here is not to discuss the systematics or taxonomy of these plants, so I settled on using the most widespread naming treatment used in Brazil and with which I, as a taxonomist, tend to agree. Lumping the Brazilian laelias in Cattleya or accepting them as a separate genera is a matter of personal decision and, from my point of view, there is no right or wrong choice per se. This is all I will discuss here of the systematics and taxonomy of the group.

This article will provide information and images of plants in the habitat. I selected three species in the group (Hadrolaelia jongheana, Hdl. pumila, and Hdl. sincorana) as these species will provide enough variation to cover most habitat conditions...


Cattleya Species and Their Culture
Based on an article by William P. Rogerson
Published in the Orchid Digest, Vo. 68 (4)
8 pages, 9 photos, 6 tables

Cattleya dowiana var. aurea
Cattleya dowiana var. aurea
©Eric Hunt

The information I share here about Cattleya species and their culture is based mostly on observations accumulated over a 20-year period as a hobbyist grower.

Cattleya species are important to our understanding of the genus and the hybrids. The species are the fundamental building blocks of hybrids, and one of the best ways to understand hybrids is to appreciate the growth habits and characteristics of their species ancestors. Species are interesting because they comprise a wide variety of distinctive and unusual flowers. All sorts of unique shapes, fragrances, textures, and colors have evolved in nature, and it is fascinating to experience them all. Most Cattleya species are very fragrant, with broad ranges of different and unusual fragrances across the genus. Finally, Cattleya species exhibit a variety of distinctive and different growth cycles. Many Cattleya hybrids send out one growth after another whenever there is enough sun. In contrast, most species have quite sharply defined annual growth cycles. These different growth patterns can be intriguing to learn about. Of course, such distinctive growth patterns can be a double-edged sword to the grower. While this makes them intellectually more interesting, growing them well becomes more of a challenge. You can basically water most hybrids without worrying about rest periods, and simply repot them in the spring. Most species however, need distinct rest periods and are quite particular about when they are repotted. You must understand this to grow them successfully...


The Magnificent Seven –
Cattleya walkeriana & Cattleya nobilior
Cesar Wenzel and Luiz Hamilton Lima
5 pages, 7 photos

C. walkeriana v. coerulea ‘Topazio’ F3 from C. walkeriana v. coerulea ‘Patricia’ and C. walkeriana v. coerulea ‘Dick’

C. walkeriana v. coerulea ‘Topazio’ F3 from C. walkeriana v. coerulea ‘Patricia’ and C. walkeriana v. coerulea ‘Dick’
© Dr. Elias Donato

Cattleya walkeriana is almost always a unifoliar Cattleya species whereas Cattleya nobilior is always bifoliate.However, Cattleya walkeriana does sometimes send bifoliate pseudobulbs and Cattleya nobilior sometimes sends pseudobulbs with only one leaf, but this does not happen the majority of the time in either of the two species. Thus, do not be alarmed if this is the case with your plants; do not think that they are not the true species. The morphology of the flowers of each species is the true indicator of one versus the other rather than the number of leaves on a pseudobulb!...


For the Fun of It
Allen Black
3 pages, 13 photos

Hadrolaelia sincorana growing on Vellozia, under full sun light.
Brassocattleya Debby Sauer ‘Joy Black’ HCC/AOS
©Allen Black

I do orchid breeding for the fun of it….to entertain myself and to explore the “less traveled roads” of orchid breeding. As a hobbyist orchid breeder, I have freedom to make unusual/unconventional orchid hybrids. Commercial breeders typically focus on making hybrids that “will sell” as opposed to making speculative hybrids that may not have commercial value. Early in my “orchid journey,” I realized that many interesting orchid hybrids were not available or yet to be made.

My novelty orchid breeding efforts have focused on the Brassavola Cattleya alliance. In particular, the species, Brassavola nodosa, is one of my favorite parents as a starting point for my hybrids. Brassavola nodosa can produce progeny with such characteristics as star-shaped flowers, flowers with spots/veining/blushes, “hybrid vigor” growth, multiple blooming per year, maintain/ increase the flower count, compact plant growth habit, and evening-fragrant flowers...


The Wild Orchids of Taiwan, an illustrated guide
Book Review by Daniel L. Geiger

Taiwan is a well-known orchid growing region, owing its reputation particularly to phalaenopsis breeding. The native orchid flora is not quite as much appreciated despite some widely cultivated species such as Gastrochilus retrocallus (Haraella retrocalla). Its historical significance is based on a steady series of publication on the island, dating back to an era when it was still known as Formosa. The present weighty contribution brings us the latest update on this orchid flora with a special emphasis on the natural habitats, in English and full color...


Renziana , Vol. 4, Cattleya
Book Review by Alec Pridgeon

The current issue of Renziana, Volume 4, focuses on everything Cattleya—morphology, classification as the result of DNA sequence data, distribution, biogeography, ecology, conservation, pollination, breeding, and cultivation. The primary author for this issue is the widely acknowledged expert on Laeliinae and especially Cattleya, Cássio van den Berg. He recounts the taxonomic history of the genus and explains the rationale for lumping Sophronitis and Brazilian Laelia species into Cattleya as series of C. subgenus Cattleya section Crispae...