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Which Unifoliate Cattleya should I get first?

Discussion in 'Wanted' started by The Orchidomaniac, May 3, 2021 at 11:49 AM.

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  1. The Orchidomaniac

    The Orchidomaniac Orchid Nerd

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    Hi!
    I'm thinking of getting a unifoliate cattleya, though I'm really not sure which one to get. I probably am not going to get percivaliana or lueddemanniana. I want to get one that is somewhat tolerant of extremes (35-95 F). Does anyone have some suggestions?
     
  2. Roberta

    Roberta Active Member

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    How about Cattleya (Laelia) purpurata? Fairly bullet-proof. (I grow mine outside, they thrive) The only problem with those is the huge variety of color forms - hard to choose, so it is difficult, nay impossible, to have just one.

    But C. percivaliana is also pretty tough... I grow that one (several plants) outside too. Some overhead protection (sheet of polycarbonate) can help so that it doesn't get rained on when it's cold but otherwise also doesn't need any particular winter attention.
     
  3. The Orchidomaniac

    The Orchidomaniac Orchid Nerd

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    I have heard that C. percivaliana has a somewhat objectionable scent. Does it really smell bad?
    I'm pretty sure that I can grow most Laelia species (Cattleya now) outside; my dry Bay Area climate is just perfect!
    I was thinking also of getting warscewiczii... i've heard larger plants can withstand more extreme temperatures, so why not get the giant cattleya?
     
  4. Roberta

    Roberta Active Member

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    Hmmm.. I think of C warscewiczii as more of a warm grower. It is one of the few, along with C. lueddemanniana that I do keep in the GH. You might get away with it, if acclimated. But I'd have some doubts. C. labiata and C. warneri do fine for me outside. (I learned that from a talk by Steve Champlin of Floralia... and he knows California climate since he's originally from here, he was right on.) Also C. schroederae does OK.
    I don't find C. percivaliana's fragrance offensive. Actually, I don't recall a lot of any sort of scent (but that's my nose).. and it's so pretty to look at, and so easy to grow.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 4:43 PM
  5. The Orchidomaniac

    The Orchidomaniac Orchid Nerd

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    Idk... I'll probably just get whatever is cheapest for its size. C. percivaliana seems to have variable scents, and is described like by different growers rotten socks, stinkbugs, lye soap, fresh mushrooms, fresh mown hay, citrus, fruity, and plain spicy. I feel like that is too ominous... also heard it and trianae need specific day lenghts to bloom. I am looking for mossiae, labiata, jenmanii, mendelii, warneri, shroederae, and gaskelliana. I'll keep an eye out for C. purpurata, though; heard it smells like licorice!
    I may just put up a trading/purchasing thread here for unifoliate cattleyas... I don't think people would be pleased if I flooded the site with one post for every species! I also think Orchids by Hausermann has some BS C. gaskelliana, though I like to purchase from local growers and hobbyists.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 5:40 PM
  6. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Cattleya percivaliana does have a smell that some people object to vehemently. I have to get really close to it to smell it and it doesn't hold a candle to some bulbos. The colored form is what I think they are talking about. The alba form has a different fragrance to me that I don't mind. C percivaliana is the coolest growing of the original cattleyas and does very well for me with 50F nights. C purpurata will also take it cool-cold in the winter.
     
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  7. The Orchidomaniac

    The Orchidomaniac Orchid Nerd

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    Yeah... that is better I guess. I have noticed that all unifoliate Cattleya species are expensive, which means I might have to get seedlings. That is unfortunate, as I'm pretty sure they take 5-7 years to get to BS. I'm going to make the WANTED thread now.