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2016 Vivi's Orchid Corner

Vivi's Orchids since 1995

C. loddigesii, February 2016, Vol. 20, Issue 2

Dear Orchid Friends:

Lovely pastels... the focus of this month's article is C. loddigesii.

This bifoliate cattleya species is a native of Brazil and seems to have several variations.

Originally Mr. Loddiges, of England brought this orchid to England and it was named   Epidendrum violaceum early in the nineteenth century.  Mr. Lindley renamed it and placed it into the new genus, Cattleya, and called it Cattleya loddigesii around  1824. There is still some discussion on whether these are more like C. harrisonianas.

This species grows in southern Brazil in the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo to the south to Paraná. It is quite adaptable and grows in tree branches, rocks, forests and tolerates both shade and sun. C. loddigesii also tolerates quite cool weather as some of the mountainous areas are at altitudes of 2000 ft or nearly 800 meters and temperatures can drop into 30'sF. In general, these orchids tolerate intermediate temperature ranges but do well in hot summer months. They also tolerate various potting mediums and do not like to stay wet, so ensure there is good drainage.

Flowers: The flower stem bears from two to seven flowers and are approximately  four inches in diameter.  Flowers are a delicate rosy lilac hue. Petals are slightly broader than the sepals. The lip is tri-lobed, has a long trumpet shape and a wavy skirt. Flowers are sweetly fragrant.

I had some of these lovelies that were purchased nearly 20 years ago while in Brazil (yes, CITES). Some were mounted  on tree branches in my yard, others were potted. Alas, those in pots finally ended their lives after nearly 20 years. The photo associated with this article was taken at a local orchid show.  C loddigesii flowers just seems to "float" in the air. The pastel hue is eyecatching!

Hoping to find a few replacements this coming year.... they bring fond memories of my trip.

Until next time,

vivi

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