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Cattleya percivaliana 'Summit' and a bit of nostalgia

Discussion in 'Orchid Species' started by Marni, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Santa Rosa, CA
    Long time orchid growers will have many plants in their collection that have a lot of sentimental value. Plants that were acquired by great days shopping or collecting, given by good friends or eccentric strangers, accompanied by incredible, interesting or endearing stories that spark memories of people and events long gone. Cattleya percivaliana 'Summit' is one of those for me.

    I met Ben Berliner in the late '80's when a mutual friend brought him to see my small (at that time) collection. It was immediately apparent that he was unlike anyone else. Enthusiastic, knowledgeable, one of a kind and as I learned later, the worst drive I ever rode with. Over the next few years I got to know him well and we traded plants freely. I have lots of wonderful plants that came from him. When he gave me a division of this he told me the story of how he acquired it.

    He was a fairly new orchid grower in the 1950's who was visiting the nursery of Lager & Hurrell in Summit, New Jersey with his wife Skip when he saw this plant in bloom and decided he had to have it. They worked out a price and years later, in 1986, he got an FCC/AOS on the plant. He told me that he bought it from John B. Lager, the son of the founder of the company who was the importer of this plant. The plant came into the US in 1898. I don't grow it as well as I could, but I love it every time it comes into bloom. So it has been in cultivation for 114 years and still gives pleasure.

    For reference, this is growing in a 5" basket.

  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Redding, California, USA
    What a great story and post. 114 years ... what a legacy.
  3. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Love your story, especially the introduction!
    ...and I love this clone(although mine is the cloning product).
  4. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Vancouver Island, BC
    Excellent story and plant!